Woman caught burglar in her home

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A NEWLY-JAILED burglar has asked to meet his victim to say sorry to her.

Serial criminal Richard Kilbourne, 28, filed a request with authorities at Holme House Prison, Stockton, and the meeting with Jean Cawley is expected to take place soon.

Mrs Cawley was asleep at home in Hartlepool after a night shift when she was awoken by a noise from her daughter’s bedroom and she came face-to-face with Kilbourne.

He had eight of her daughter’s DVDs and he said “I’m just going” before picking up Mrs Cawley’s handbag which he had already stashed at the front door of the family’s bungalow.

Mrs Cawley hurriedly dressed and ran out after him, shouting that he was a burglar, and a motorist left his car and joined the chase through the January snow.

Kilbourne was rummaging through her handbag as he ran, throwing out items, said prosecutor Harry Hadfield.

He climbed a gate to escape but was tracked by his footprints in the snow, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Mr Hadfield said that Kilbourne was a third-strike burglar facing a three year minimum jail sentence and he had 49 convictions for 160 offences.

Eleven days before burgling the Cawleys’ home in Manor Road, Hartlepool, at 11am on January 22 last year he had been given a conditional discharge for receiving stolen goods.

Jim Withyman, mitigating, said Kilbourne had been addicted to heroin for six years and his usual offending was thefts from cars and sheds.

Mr Withyman added: “He asks through me to apologise and he instructs me that a meeting has been arranged at the prison at his request for him to apologise to her in person.

“He understands that she has agreed, and that the meeting will take place in the near future. He is not an habitual burglar, and he instructs me that the keys had been left in the lock. He pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.”

Judge Michael Taylor said that he acknowledged that Kilbourne had shown remorse.

The judge added: “Arrangements have been made for the victim of this offence to go to the prison for a meeting with you for you to apologise to her.

“I applaud her for that and I make acknowledgement that you show remorse.”

Kilbourne, of Derwent Street, Hartlepool, was jailed for 27 months for the burglary and he asked for two thefts from cars and one attempted theft to be taken into consideration.