A drugged-up burglar with 88 offences on his record left a 86-year-old pensioner terrified when he climbed through a bedroom window of her home at midnight.
Gary Taylor, 42, was had taken 10 tablets when he crept into the woman’s bungalow in Hartlepool.
Teesside Crown Court was told Taylor was just 3ft away from the shocked woman as she walked from the bathroom to her bed on August 15. But the brave woman shouted at him: “What are you doing? Get out”, and Taylor, who confessed later that she had scared him, climbed back out of the bedroom window.
The woman then phoned the police and they arrested him in the street nearby.
He was wearing gloves even though it was the middle of summer.
Prosecutor Jenny Haigh said it was Taylor’s fifth conviction for house burglary, but he was not a three-strikes burglar facing a minimum of three years because his last offence was in 2008.
He had 21 convictions for 88 offences including several for drugs.
Andrew Teate, defending, said that Taylor lived with his mother, who was his carer since he was left with mental problems after a serious road crash.
He said Taylor accepted it would have been upsetting for the victim, and he would have been concerned if it had happened to his mother.
Mr Teate said that Taylor pleaded guilty even though the woman told police that she had not seen his face.
He had taken 10 tablets which had been given to him that night by some men who called at his home trying to sell him a motor cycle.
The judge Recorder Gurdial Singh told Taylor: “In my view it is no coincidence that at midnight you are walking around wearing gloves in August and you entered a property occupied by an 86 year old through a partly open window.
“You were under the influence of drugs by your own admission.
“I accept the remorse on your part, and you panicked and you bolted.”
The judge added: “One can’t begin to imagine the fear that she must have felt.”
Taylor, of Jones Road, Hartlepool, was jailed for 30 months after he pleaded guilty to the burglary.
The woman, who has an alarm system in her home, told the Mail: “I felt shocked and frightened. I was petrified.
“I shouted at him and told him to get out. I said get out two of three times and he turned and left.
“What frightened me afterwards was that if I tried to get near him or go close to him I could have got a fist in my face or something.
“I haven’t got over this and I’m very nervous.”