A WOULD-be burglar cried rape when she was caught in the street by a have-a-go hero householder.
Stacey Lonsdale had left a couple’s home in Sunderland empty-handed when a dog started barking as she opened their front door in the middle of the night.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the homeowner saw the 29-year-old leaving the address while he watched from a window and decided to give chase.
Prosecutor Bridie Smurthwaite told the court: “He immediately got dressed and went driving around the surrounding streets in order to find the defendant.
“He did find her, a short distance away.”
The court heard Lonsdale told the victim, who works as an engineer, he had got the wrong person and hurled abuse in response to his claim she was the culprit.
Miss Smurthwaite added: “He had already contacted the police so he continued to follow her. She began shouting ‘help, rape’.
“Eventually the police found the defendant.
“An officer shouted at her to stop and she said someone had been following her.
“She was cautioned and arrested.”
Londsdale, of Salem Hill, Hendon, Sunderland, admitted attempted burglary.
The court heard she has made more than 50 previous court appearances in the past.
She was on a suspended sentence for theft at the time of the attempted raid last September, which had been imposed just days earlier, and has two previous convictions for burglary.
Vic Laffey, defending, said Lonsdale has served the equivalent of a 10-month prison sentence in custody on remand and is “unrecognisable” as a result.
Judge Brian Forster QC adjourned sentence for three weeks so Lonsdale can be assessed for reports.
The judge told her: “I am willing to give you an opportunity.
“You have to decide which way you want to go.”