A TERRIFIED householder came face to face with a burglar when she investigated a noise in her home in the early hours.
The woman opened her bedroom door and was confronted by stranger Jamie Wilkinson, who was searching for property to steal on October 7.
Newcastle Crown court heard her horrified screams woke her husband and Wilkinson had made off with what he wanted, when the couple left their bedroom.
The 25-year-old raider had taken personal belongings, including a purse containing bank cards, a passport and car keys which were used to take the couple’s Ford Fiesta, which had been parked outside their home in Grangetown, Sunderland.
The woman told police the ordeal left her petrified.
She said in a statement: “I have never been so scared. I thought he might come and get me. This person doesn’t realise what effect this can have.”
Wilkinson, of Derwent Terrace, South Hetton, who has 83 previous convictions and was out on bail for other offences at the time, admitted burglary.
Judge Simon Hickey sentenced him to two years behind bars and banned him from driving for 18 months.
The judge said: “I can’t give you anything other than an immediate custodial sentence, it is just too serious.”
Judge Hickey referred to the fear felt by the householder and the effect of the loss of her car and passport, which meant some of her travel arrangements had to be changed.
The judge told Wilkinson: “That is why you are going to prison, I’m afraid.”
Stuart Graham, defending, said Wilkinson has turned his back on drink and drugs and is almost unrecognisable as a result.
Mr Graham said: “Alcohol has played a massive part in his offending.”
Mr Graham said Wilkinson had not planned to carry out the raid and was a “drunken opportunist” when he tried the door of the house and found it unlocked.
Wilkinson claims he carried out the raid with an accomplice, who was responsible for taking the car, which has never been recovered.
The court heard just five hours after the raid a woman, who is unconnected to Wilkinson, had used the stolen bank cards and passport to try and withdraw cash from the couple’s account.
She was given a suspended prison term by magistrates.