Terrified woman awoke to find intruder had crept into bedroom at her Sunderland flat

An intruder who was caught standing beside a woman's bed as she slept in the early hours of the morning has been put behind bars.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 6:03 pm
Callum Snowball

Callum Snowball crept into the upstairs flat in Sunderland through an unlocked door and went into the victim's bedroom, where he picked up her phone.

Newcastle Crown Court the woman, who had never met Snowball before, woke up and started screaming when she saw the stranger standing by her bed.

The 24-year-old claimed to have been invited to the address by the woman's daughter, which she denies, and was then pushed out of the door by the terrified mum.

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The court heard the victim, who had forgot to lock her front door which allowed Snowball to let himself in on August 5 2019, was left terrified by what happened.

She said in a victim statement she had previously been "happy and confident" and felt safe in the home she had lived in for 20 years.

She added that she felt "violated" and "horrified" by Snowball's intrusion and added: "I would never want to feel like this again.

"I no longer feel safe at home or secure in my bedroom, where I should feel comfortable.

"All I do is cry, I no longer feel safe in the home I have lived in for 20 years. I just want to move away."

Snowball, of Whitchurch Close, Sunderland, who was on a suspended prison sentence order at the time, admitted affray, as an alternative to an original charge of burglary.

Judge Julie Clemitson sentenced him to seven months behind bars.

The judge told him: "You went into her home in the early hours of the morning and she undoubtedly would have been terrified to wake to find you standing over her in her bedroom, holding her phone in your hand.

"That must have been an absolutely terrifying moment for her, regardless of what your intentions might have been."

Judge Clemitson said she accepted Snowball had made no direct threat when the victim woke up but "looming over her in that way" was a threatening act itself.

The judge added: "It is not entirely clear what you were doing there, you had contacted her daughter earlier asking for somewhere to stay and been refused.

"It may be it is unclear to you as it was apparent you were under the influence of some substances, either alcohol or drugs, at the time."

Helen Towers, defending, said Snowball has been diagnosed with a personality disorder and suffers from anxiety and depression.

Miss Towers said Snowball had not intended to cause any alarm or fear to the woman.