A pensioner who went out to buy fish and chips for his lunch found a burglar in his home when he got back.
Leeds Crown Court heard the 86-year-old victim was shocked to see a stranger in his living room who had got in through a window at a house in Huddersfield on March 25.
Confronted by the returning householder, the intruder Andrew James Kitcher rushed to get out the same window and when the pensioner bravely grabbed at his legs to try and stop him, Kitcher kicked out, bruising the man’s hand before escaping.
The victim was left shaken and discovered two watches and some cash had been stolen by the burglar.
Adam Walker, prosecuting, told the court only nine days earlier on March 16, Kitcher was sentenced at the same court to a total of 20 months in prison suspended for two years for damage and robbing his own mother of her handbag.
At that time it was not known he had also committed an earlier burglary on January 3 at an address in Crossfields, Dalton in which more than £4,000 worth of property was stolen.
A neighbour was disturbed by the sound of banging at 11.50am and looking out saw a man near the back door behaving suspiciously.
She knew the occupier was out and when she saw the man go inside rang her neighbour to check and she confirmed the house should be empty. When she went to the house and shouted out she heard the sound of someone running away and discovered the back door had been kicked off its hinges.
When the house was checked the burglar had made an untidy search throughout the rooms turning out drawers and emptying jewellery boxes. Among items stolen was the victim’s engagement ring, a necklace belonging to her great grandmother, Xboxes, iPads and a holdall.
Mark Brookes, representing Kitcher, said his problems began when he started using cocaine, could not hold down his job and he began mixing “with the wrong crowd.”
In a letter to the court he described his remorse and regret, particularly for the pensioner.
Kitcher, 22 of Dudley Avenue, Marsh admitted both burglaries and asked for another to be taken into consideration. He was jailed for a total of three years including the previously suspended 20 months.
Judge Simon Phillips QC said he had given Kitcher a chance in March and only nine days later he was committing the burglary at the pensioner’s home.