Jailed: The house raider who knifed his victim as he walked through the door

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A TERRIFIED homeowner called for a longer sentence after a knifeman he found ransacking his home was jailed for nine years.

Ralph Allison was pounced on by a stranger carrying a kitchen knife as he walked into his home late at night.

The 52-year-old suffered cuts to his leg and hands in the attack and has been left suffering from post-traumatic stress.

He told police he fears he will never feel at ease again.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday serial raider Thomas Mason, who had smashed his way into Mr Allison’s home through an upstairs bedroom window, was jailed for nine years and eight months.

Mr Allison, of Lawnswood, Houghton, told the Echo: “I’m quite pleased with the result, but he should have got longer, he’s been doing it half his life.

Mason, 37, admitted aggravated burglary, assault and was in breach of a suspended sentence for carrying a knife.

Judge James Goss told him: “Mr Allison has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder.

“He remains frightened and distressed as a result of this offence.

“During the course of the struggle he suffered cuts to his palm, calf and thigh as a result of your possession and use of the knife.”

The court heard Mr Allison noticed an upstairs bedroom light was on when he got back to his home from work, late on October 15 last year.

He assumed it had been left on by his partner, who he knew would be out, and started making his way up the stairs.

Prosecutor Paul Rowland told the court: “About half way up the stairs he was confronted by the defendant who was holding what was described as an eight inch bladed black handled kitchen knife.”

The court heard Mason, who had downed a bottle of whiskey, ordered Mr Allison to open his safe then demanded his wallet.

Mr Rowland said: “He then moved towards the complainant and struck him on the back of the leg with the knife.

“At that point Mr Allison tried to grab hold of the knife by the blade, which resulted in a cut to his hand.”

Gold and silver jewellery which was stolen has never been returned.

Mason was linked to the raid by his fingerprints which were found on the broken bedroom window.

Peter Schofield, defending, said Mason had turned to drink when his relationship ended, which led to him carrying out the raid.

Mr Schofield said: “He makes, through me, an apology to the victim for what took place, which is all he can do in the circumstances.”