House raider armed with screwdriver jailed for six and a half years

Adam Cain
Adam Cain

An intruder who broke into a house and threatened the occupier with a screwdriver has been jailed for six and a half years

Adam Cain, 40, used a large screwdriver to enter the property in St Michael's Avenue, South Shields, through the window.

When the occupier returned home on February 16, he found his dog had been sick on the hall way floor and went into the kitchen to clean it up.

Mark Giuliani, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court how while in the kitchen the man spotted the defendant out of the corner of his eye.

Mr Giuliani said: "He turned around and saw the defendant standing in his home.

"The defendant said something that he couldn't understand in a local accent, he describes him as mumbling.

"A screwdriver was being pointed at the complainant."

Mr Giuliani told the court how the victim thought Cain was going to stab him with the screwdriver and kicked out at him.

The victim struggled with Cain in an attempt to get the screwdriver off him before throwing him out of his home.

Cain tried on a number of occasions to get past the victim and back into the house to get his bag which he had left behind.

The victim, who suffered no injuries, refused to allow Cain entry and followed him before ringing the police.

Mr Giuliani said: "The bag is of some relevance, because the defendant left his bag behind the police were able to reach him and his was arrested at his home.

"That's probably why he wanted to get back in to get his bag.

"The window latch had been damaged by Cain in order to gain entry.

"The screwdriver had been used as an instrument to gain entry. It was then used as a weapon to try and escape."

In a victim impact statement read to the court, the victim said: "I felt threatened when the man confronted me with the screwdriver.

"I believed he was going to stab me with it.

"I was shocked to find a stranger in my house.

"I was supposed to have been away that day and if I had it would have been my mother. I dread to think what might have happened."

Cain, of Azalea Lodge, Azalea Terrace North, Sunderland, admitted aggravated burglary at a previous hearing.

The court heard how he has a history of committing burglary.

Tony Cornberg, defending, told the court Cain had taken valium tablets which he had found in a bag outside a chemist when he committed the crime.

Mr Cornberg said: "It is the method of which he gained entry but it wasn't a weapon when he first entered. It wasn't a weapon until the occupier came back.

"This offence he remembers as a memory of a dream.

"It's all about the future rather than the past."

The judge, Miss Recorder Caroline Wigin, told Cain: "The claimant returned home to find you brandishing a screwdriver at him.

"He thought you were going to stab him. He tried to disarm you of the screwdriver by bringing you to the ground but you wouldn't drop it.

"You were heavily under the influence of valium I'm told.

"The effect on the claimant of your actions have been that he has been uneasy in his house particularly when he is alone.

"One of the things playing on his mind is what would happened if his mother had come back and found you there. One could understand how that could cause him considerable unease."

Recorder Wigin sentenced Cain, who sobbed in the dock, to six and a half years in prison.