Leeds burglar threatened 80-year-old woman with broom handle

Richard Howard.
Richard Howard.
Have your say

A BURGLAR terrified an 80-year-old woman in her own home as he threatened to hit her with a broom handle.

Richard Howard, 35, was jailed for four years and eight months over the incident at the elderly victim’s home in Middleton, Leeds.

Leeds Crown Court heard neighbours in Lingwell Court spotted Howard acting suspiciously outside homes at 10.30pm on April 30 this year.

Police were contacted after he was seen approaching three houses as he was carrying a long broom handle.

Howard then entered one of the properties and disturbed the elderly woman who lived there alone.

Robert Galley, prosecuting, said the woman saw Howard in the hallway and asked him what he was doing.

He then raised the broom handle above his head and the victim believed she was about to be hit with it.

Howard then turned and left but was arrested when police arrived and the broom handle was recovered.

The court heard the victim was left badly shaken after the incident.

He was interviewed about the incident but said he could not explain why he went into the pensioner’s home.

Howard, of Aysgarth Drive, East End Park, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary.

The court heard he has over 130 previous convictions for 90 offences, dating back to 1996.

Narinder Rathour, mitigating, said most of his client’s previous convictions were for theft, handling stolen goods, breaching court orders and drugs offences.

Mr Rathour said Howard’s offending was linked to his addiction to alcohol and drugs.

The lawyer said Howard was ashamed and “exceptionally sorry” for the distress he had caused his victim.

Jailing Howard, judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: “You went into an open door at 10.30pm. It would have been obvious to anyone doing that, that there was an inevitable likelihood of confrontation.

“You raised this broom above your head in a threatening manner. It must have been a terrifying experience for this lady and it will have a long-term effect on her. This is a very significant increase in the seriousness of the offences which you have committed.”

Regional Director of Northern Rail Sharon Keith, pictured at Leeds Railway Station..23rd March 2018 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Rail chief pledges to keep Leeds and the North moving as two-day strike looms