Jail for serial Hartlepool burglar who raided 70-year-old woman's home while she slept

A burglar who raided a pensioner’s home at night while she was asleep was caught after he left his blood behind at the scene of the crime.

Monday, 3rd May 2021, 7:00 am

Alan Metcalfe, 43, who has numerous house break-ins on his record, targeted the victim’s house knowing she lived alone and was vulnerable, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The 70-year-old woman’s home in the West View area of Hartlepool was broken into after she went to bed on January 19, said prosecutor Shaun Dodds.

When she woke up the next morning she found the glass in her back door had been smashed.

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Alan Metcalfe (inset) was jailed for three years for burglary at Teesside Crown Court.

Mr Dodds said: “The door had been forced using a pitchfork and various items taken.”

A Samsung TV was taken from the wall. Also missing was with a food processor, bank cards, gold-plated watch and £15 in cash.

None of the stolen property was ever recovered.

Mr Dodds added: “Blood was seen at the point of entry. It was sent for forensic testing and the defendant’s DNA was in the blood.”

When arrested Metcalfe said he could not remember where he was at the time due to his drug abuse.

He went on to tell police he was sorry and later pleaded guilty to burglary in court.

Mr Dodds added: “The crown say the house was targeted because of knowing full well she lived there and was clearly a vulnerable lady.”

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Metcalfe, of West View Road, has previously been locked up for carrying out various house burglaries including three years’ youth detention in 1998.

In 2001 he was given two years, then 30 months in 2004 and most recently 876 days in 2016.

Anyone who commits three burglaries since 1999 automatically faces three years in prison.

Conor Quinn, defending, said in mitigation his client is currently a wheelchair user and has to crawl from his prison cell door to bed as the chair will not fit inside.

He added: “The custodial sentence will have a particularly heavy impact on him by virtue of his medical condition.”

The judge, Recorder Jeremy Hill-Baker, said: “This offence makes you a mandatory minimum of three years.

"The question is not what sentence but how long.”

Metcalfe was jailed for three years.

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