Burglar jailed for terrifying late night raid

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A judge has jailed a night-time house burglar for 30 months after he carried out a terrifying break-in at a woman’s Todmorden home.

Bradford Crown Court heard how the householder, who was asleep in bed, was woken in the early hours after hearing noises from the study at her five-bedroom detached home. Prosecutor Anthony Moore said the woman opened her bedroom door to investigate and saw “a figure” in the hallway before she slammed her door shut.

The woman could hear footsteps running down the stairs as she telephoned the police and Mr Moore said various property including a valuable camera and computer were stolen during the raid in April. He said the house had been broken into via a toilet window.

In a victim personal statement the householder described how the burglary had left her feeling very frightened and shaken.

Jailing 32-year-old Craig Watson for that burglary and other offences Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said the break-in would have left “a lifelong scar” on the complainant’s psyche.

Watson was able to target the house with help of 24-year-old fellow drug addict Shazia Pinnell and the judge told her that it had been a “mean and despicable” offence.

Pinnell, who had no previous convictions, had her 15-month jail term suspended for two years after she admitted her involvement in the burglary and other offences.

She was also ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work for the community and comply with a drug rehabilitation programme and a rehabilitation activity requirement.

The court heard that Watson had been jailed for 27 months back in 2009 for an offence of robbery, but he had no previous convictions for burglary.

The defendants were linked to an address in Longfield Road, Todmorden, at the time of the offending which was said to have been committed while they were struggling with drug addiction.