Masked robber held 12-inch knife to face of 70-year-old woman in terrifying house raid
Mitchell Sayers was wearing a balaclava when he knocked on the door of a 70-year-old woman, held a 12-inch knife up to her face and pushed past her to get her money last December.
At the time of the invasion, the 32-year-old was on bail for an attack on a woman in her 50s, who he pushed to the ground from behind and kicked until he could take her purse, as she was walking towards her home in South Shields.
Sayers, of no fixed address, was due to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court today but the case has been adjourned until a later date and he remains in custody.
Prosecutor Michael Bunch told the court the 70-year-old victim, who had been waiting for her daughter to get home from a night out, answered a knock on her door at her home in South Tyneside, after midnight.
Mr Bunch said: "She went to the door expecting to find her daughter. Instead she was confronted by a man in a balaclava, this defendant, armed with a knife which had a blade of 12 inches.
"He held the knife up to her face and said 'give me your money'.
"As she backed off he followed her into the address.
"Once in the living room, she started to head towards her bedroom, where her money was.
"At first he told her not to move."
The court heard after the victim explained she was going to get her purse, he "pushed past her" into the room.
Mr Bunch added: "She followed, thinking if she did as he asked he wouldn't hurt her."
The court heard the victim handed over £30 she had in a small box and then picked up her purse, containing £60, which he "snatched" from her.
Mr Bunch said before Sayers left the house he warned the pensioner he would "come back for her" if she contacted the police.
In a victim statement the woman, who did contact the police, said she was "terrified" about being in her home and feared she could never sleep in her bedroom again so was desperate to move.
The court heard at the time of the house raid, Sayers had been on bail for just four days for other offences, including the robbery of a woman in her 50s.
Mr Bunch told the court that victim had been walking towards her home in the evening last November and added: "She was pushed hard from behind, causing her to fall to the floor.
"The attacker tried to pull her bag from her shoulder.
"When she resisted he started to kick her to her arm and upper body.
"She continued to struggle.
"He put his hand inside her bag and took her purse and ran off."
That victim said she was "in shock" after what happened and was concerned about being out alone in future.
Sayers, who has 42 previous convictions, was convicted of two offences of robbery and six offences of theft in relation to shoplifting at the Euro garage in Jarrow and affray.
He will be sentenced at a later date.
Gavin Doig, defending, said Sayers is "very anxious about the outcome of these proceedings".