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'Devastating' burglary leaves widow scared to be in her own house

Michael Hazard pleaded guilty to burglary.
Michael Hazard pleaded guilty to burglary.

A widow fears she may have to leave her home of almost four decades after it was targeted by a serial burglar in a late-night raid.

Michael Hazard took a purse containing cash and personal property after creeping into the victim's house at St. Bedes in East Boldon and left behind a bag containing clothing and needles which were stained with blood.

The 36-year-old raider was arrested after his DNA was discovered on the bag, which police found in the back garden. His fingerprints were also found inside the house.

Prosecutor Peter Schofield told Newcastle Crown Court the break-in has had a devastating effect on the victim and made her feel so unsafe in her home that she has considered leaving.

The incident happened on November 25, 2017.

Mr Schofield said: "She has lived in the house for 36 years, for the past five years as a widow, after she lost her husband.

"She doesn't feel secure in her own home after this incident. She is greatly upset because of the memories she had in the house, which have been affected.

"The actions of this person have affected her life. Her security has been taken from her and her peace of mind.

"She has contemplated that she may not necessarily be able to stay in the house."

Hazard, who is currently serving a three-year jail term imposed in January for unrelated house raids, pleaded guilty to burglary.

Judge Stephen Earl sentenced Hazard, of no fixed address, to two years imprisonment.

The judge told him: "This will affect your release date."

Tony Cornberg, mitigating, said Hazard has achieved certificates for completing courses while serving the sentence imposed at the start of the year and has raised money for charity.

Mr Cornberg said: "While he has been in custody he has been going around various wings ,getting people to put some of their canteen money in, canteen money which is very restricted.

"He has raised £1,200."

Mr Cornberg added: "Peeling away the criminality, there is a decent person."