Stunned Hartlepool homeowner awoke to find burglar asleep on his bedroom floor after ransacking house
A homeowner awoke to find a burglar lying asleep on his bedroom floor after ransacking his house.
Prolific burglar Robert Hall was lying under a duvet in the man’s bedroom after he and others had burgled two homes in Clifton Avenue, Hartlepool.
Bizarrely, Hall who was intoxicated, claimed he had a right to be there and even called the police himself when the concerned homeowner tried to get him to leave.
Jess Butterell, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said: “[The homeowner] did not know Mr Hall was and was understandably startled to find him in his bedroom.”
When he confronted him, Hall said he had been invited by friends and refused to leave.
Miss Butterell added: “[The homeowner] again challenged Mr Hall and told him he would call the police if he did not leave, however, Mr Hall instead decided to phone the police as he was adamant he had every right to be within that property.”
When police arrived they found a number of foreign coins that belonged to the victim’s late father on Hall.
It was found that he had smashed a dining room window to get in during the early hours and had searched the house for things to steal.
A neighbouring property where the homeowner was away at the time was also found to have been burgled.
Local CCTV showed Hall and an unknown associate moving property to and from the address and piling it in a wheelbarrow on the driveway.
A mahogany box containing the ashes of the homeowner’s treasured pet dog was taken and has never been recovered.
Miss Butterell said Hall, 49, of Ellison Street, Hartlepool, was a prolific burglar with numerous previous convictions.
He admitted the two burglaries on May 29.
Judge Chris Smith told him: “You are thoroughly dishonest.
"You are a professional – though not a terribly good – burglar.”
Hall claimed he had been spiked as he had little memory of the burglaries.
Stephen Constantine, defending, said Hall had been on his way to get some cigarettes after bumping into some friends.
Mr Constantine said: “He did not set out to go and burgle houses.”
Jailing him for four years, Judge Smith said: “This is a man who simply just does not abide by the law.”