A DRUGGED up intruder has been jailed for a night time raid in which came face to face with a terrified home owner.
Connor Sidell was caught red handed because he tripped up on the stairs of the house in Dawlish after returning for a second time to look for more items to steal.
He had already broken into the house in Regent Street once and carried one load of loot across the road to his girlfriend’s house but had gone back for more.
He fled after the female occupier was awoken at 4am by a noise on the landing outside her bedroom and thought it was one of her sons coming home from a night out in Exeter.
She went to check without putting on the lights and was horrified to see a stranger. Sidell covered his face with his hands to hide his identity and ran out carrying a holdall which he had stolen to carry other items.
He was tracked by a police dog and found hiding under the victim’s car on her driveway. Forensic evidence linked him to the burglary and most of the stolen property was recovered at his girlfriend’s home.
Police also found items from two garden sheds which he had raided on the same night.
The raid caused serious psychological trauma to the victim who has been struggling to sleep since her ordeal and who was particularly frightened because she discovered that Sidell had armed himself with a knife from the kitchen before he went upstairs.
Sidell, aged 25, formerly of Neville Road, Newton Abbot, but now homeless, admitted burglary and asked for two other cases to be considered. He was jailed for two years by Judge Anna Richardson at Exeter Crown Court.
She told him: 'It is entirely understandable that the victim was shocked and confused. I have read the victim personal statement and she is understandably frightened by the fact that somebody has been in her property and carrying a knife.
'That fear is inevitable when somebody’s home has been violated.'
Miss Victoria Bastock, prosecuting, said the burglary happened at 4 am on April 7 this year and weapons including knives and an air pistol had been stolen, along with cash, a wallet, and passports.
She said the owner initially thought it was her son when she saw a man sprawled out on her landing and was traumatised when she realised it was an intruder.
The victim impact statement said: 'The greatest fear for me was that he had taken a knife upstairs and left it in the room next to mine. If he had not tripped on the stairs he might have come into my bedroom with it.'
He stole a computer, two laptops, felt tip pens, a glass jar with at least £160 cash, coins, a wallet, bank cards, a driving licence, an autism ID card, shop cards, money, a moon wrap dry robe, two puffer coats, several other coats, a Parkside saw, a large black military issue naval holdall, a military identity card, an air gun, a Bowie knife, two large Kukri knives, a short sword and sheath, two spring assisted knives and a short blade camping knife.
Mr William Parkhill, defending, said Sidell was using illicitly sourced painkillers as a recreational drug and had no memory of what he had done that night.
He said there was no planning or pre-meditation and the burglary was carried out on the spur of the moment.