Jail for raider caught by footprint in 87-year-old victim’s home

JAILED ... Paul Williams.
JAILED ... Paul Williams.

A BURGLAR who has been raiding houses since he was just 12 is back behind bars.

Paul Williams was caught creeping around the home of an 87-year-old widow, who told him to “get out” when she realised he was in her bedroom during his latest break-in.

The frightened pensioner was able to give police a description of the intruder and 32-year-old Williams was linked to the raid by a shoeprint left on the bedroom floor.

Williams, of Egglesfield Road, South Shields, who has convictions for house break-ins going back to 1994, pleaded guilty to burglary. Mr Recorder Camp sentenced him to three years behind bars.

The judge told him: “You started burgling when you were 12 and nothing that has happened so far seems to have deterred you.

“In my judgement this was a bad burglary, the victim was 87 and she showed some considerable spirit when she said to you ‘what the devil are you doing? Get out’ but she was shocked and shaken.”

The court heard the widow lost irreplaceable property that had belonged to her late husband and has been left feeling unsafe in her home.

It was in the early hours of January 8 she realised a stranger was in her bedroom at her South Shields home and she told him to get out.

Forensic officers found a shoeprint impression on the laminate flooring in her 
bedroom and it was compared with a trainer seized from Williams.

Paul Rowland, prosecuting, told the court: “The forensic scientist came to the conclusion he was satisfied those marks had been left by the defendant’s training shoes.”

In a victim statement, the pensioner said she had always felt safe in her home, even after the death of her husband seven years ago.

Mr Rowland said: “She now feels nervous going to bed on an evening and is constantly listening for noises.

“Some of the items taken in the burglary, in particular a silver ID bracelet and some other items, were of minimal value but of great sentimental value to her.”

Jonathan Devlin, defending, said Williams is motivated to address the problems he has with drink and drugs.

Mr Devlin said Williams’ childhood “was not a happy time”.

After the case, Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt, of South Tyneside Area Command, said: “Burglars such as Williams bring misery to communities and this was a particularly distressing incident for the homeowner.

“I’m pleased he will spend time behind bars, taking a burglar off the streets of South Tyneside – and demonstrates we’ll do everything we can to identify offenders and put them before the courts.”

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