A burglar who terrified an 84-year-old woman when he broke into her Leeds home in the middle of the night was caught when he left his mobile phone behind.
David Holmes had only been released from prison a few hours earlier when he broke into the pensioner’s home in Morley in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
Leeds Crown Court heard Holmes woke the victim when he climbed in through a conservatory window at the property on Appleby Way around 3am.
The woman went downstairs and found Holmes standing next to the TV. Holmes repeatedly told the woman that he wouldn’t hurt her and asked to be let out of the house.
He left empty handed and the victim called the police. Officers found a can of lager in the conservatory which Holmes had been drinking from, which contained his DNA,
Later that morning the woman heard a mobile phone ringing and found it in the conservatory.
Police returned to the property and were able to trace Holmes later that day from the contacts on the phone. He was arrested at his home a short distance away on Wide Lane,
Holmes refused to comment in interview but later pleaded guilty to burglary.
The court heard he has 31 previous convictions dating back to 1995 when he was a juvenile.
He had been released from a 14-week prison sentence on New Year’s Eve which was imposed for thefts from a vehicle.
Jayne Dodson, mitigating, said: “Unfortunately he consumed a large amount of alcohol after he started to drink straight away.
Mrs Dodson said Holmes also had a drug problem and in the period between committing the offence and being arrested took heroin.
She added: “When he saw the complainant he indicated that he did not want to harm her.” Mrs Dodson said Holmes had written a letter reassuring the woman he would not return to her home.
Jailing Holmes, judge Sally Cahill QC said: “For the victim this can only have been absolutely terrifying.
“She is an 84-year-old lady, asleep in her bed at night and then comes downstairs to see you in her living room.
“She is frightened that you might go back there to confront her as a result of her contacting the police.”