A burglar who crept into the bedroom of an 85-year-old woman while she slept armed with a knife has been jailed.
As well as leaving the victim scared to stay in her own home, Andrew Knighton also took away her only chance to see her daughter who lives in Australia after stealing the tablet device she used for video calls.
The elderly widow discovered the burglary after waking on the morning of 22 March and discovering a large bread knife she owned at the top of the stairs. She then noticed her spare room had been searched so hid in her bedroom and called police, remaining there until officers arrived as she feared the offender may still be inside her property.
Two TVs, the tablet, food items including cans of salmon, a locket, and bank cards were among the items taken.
CCTV footage captured Knighton going into the property at around 1.30am and then leaving at 3.30am so he was in the house for around two hours while the victim slept.
In a victim impact statement, the woman said: “I have been left feeling scared in my own home, to the point that I have been to stay with my son immediately after the burglary.
“The thought that someone had been into my room whilst I slept made me feel very unsafe and I feel unnerved because of this.
“They have taken the only two televisions in my address which I used everyday as I live on my own.
“They have also taken my Samsung Galaxy tablet device. I used this to speak with my daughter via video call as she currently lives in Australia. This was my only means of actually seeing my daughter and this has been taken away.
“This crime has not only affected me emotionally but financially as well due to the loss of property and the damage to my window that they have caused when entering my property.”
Knighton also carried out a number of other burglaries and shop thefts in Ilkeston throughout March and April. He stole garden tools from the shed of a property in Lord Haddon Road on 19 March, took cash and a mobile phone from a property in Critchley Street on 7 April and stole a TV and Manchester United memorabilia including shin pads signed by Bobby Charlton from a property in Station Road on 14 April.
The 43-year-old, of Critchley Street, Ilkeston, stole from the town’s Tesco store on four occasions in April, taking alcohol and meat joints, even targeting the same shop twice in the same day.
He admitted burglary and theft and appeared at Derby Crown Court on Wednesday 23 August when he was jailed for three years.
PC Natalie Morton, from our Neighbourhood Acquisitive Crime Team said: “Having your home burgled is such a massive invasion of privacy so Knighton’s crimes will have had a long-lasting impact on the victims.
“The elderly victim in particular was understandably left very shaken by the fact a stranger was in her house for two hours while she slept – and knowing he was armed with a knife to scare her if she did wake up makes it even more terrifying.
“I’m pleased he is now behind bars and hope that it helps the victims to begin to move on.”