A drug addict burglar who subjected an 85-year-old woman to a terrifying ordeal in her Halifax home has been jailed for more than four years.
Abdul Ghafoor, 39, squeezed his way through a window at the complainant’s sheltered property at Crossley Almshouses, as she was about to get ready for bed and after pushing her aside he ransacked her home looking for items to steal.
Prosecutor Richard Davies told Bradford Crown Court that at one stage Ghafoor asked for the woman’s keys and locked her front door.
The woman managed to pull an emergency alarm cord and retreated to her bedroom as Ghafoor searched the premises.
During the hearing Mr Davies highlighted photographs which showed items strewn around the woman’s home.
There were also bloodstains in the property which later provided a DNA link to Ghafoor.
Mr Davies said the complainant was eventually able to get out of her home and seek help from a friend who lived nearby.
The pensioner saw the intruder running away from her home and later she found that the only property stolen was a box containing some envelopes.
Ghafoor, of Hanson Lane, Halifax, was arrested in connection with the break-in at the house earlier this month and the court heard that he had previous convictions for offences including robbery and burglary.
The defendant, who appeared at court via a video link to HMP Leeds, pleaded guilty to the burglary charge and Judge Jonathan Rose jailed him on that offence for four years.
The court heard that Ghafoor was also in breach of an existing community order for snatching a bag from a car and the judge added a further four months in jail for that offence.
Barrister Rachim Singh, for Ghafoor, conceded that it was a very serious offence, but he submitted that his client had not deliberately targeted an elderly person’s home.
Mr Singh said when his client realised there was someone in the property he had simply ‘’run around like a headless chicken’’.
He said Ghafoor couldn’t recall locking the door and had not physically assaulted the woman.
“I have to accept on his behalf that the complainant would have been extremely frightened by what happened and it will be something that will live with her for a long period of time.
“He is thoroughly ashamed of his behaviour,” added Mr Singh.
Judge Rose said Ghafoor should be ashamed because his behaviour was disgusting.
He said Ghafoor had been given opportunities in the community in the past and had relentlessly failed to take them.
The judge said panic could not excuse or justify what Ghafoor had done and his behaviour had added to the terror suffered by the complainant.