A CARLISLE burglar restrained by a brave couple as he tried to steal from their city home in the dead of night has been jailed for four years.
Heavily-convicted Harry John Nicholson was tackled and caught red-handed by his victims after smashing his way into their terraced home during the early hours of March 20.
Carlisle Crown Court heard how the large, five-bedroom property close to the city centre was also used by the couple to care for vulnerable adults, who were inside at the time but unaware of the crime.
Nicholson, 47, was “wrestled to the ground” by the plucky husband and wife, who pinned him to the floor despite his attempts to break free. He was found in possession of two screwdrivers and the male occupant’s mobile phone, and had bundled a sizeable stash of electronic items into a suitcase ready for removal.
Around £2,000 damage was caused to the property, and the couple had since spent around £3,500 bolstering home security. The wife, who spent three nights sleeping in a chair after the break-in, later told police: “You should be able to feel safe in your own home.”
Nicholson, of no fixed address, admitted burglary with intent to steal. The court heard he had a staggering 280 offences on his criminal record. His barrister, Alison Whalley, said of the latest crime that he was “ashamed of himself”.
Jailing Nicholson, Judge Peter Davies said: “These offences have to be properly punished, and people in the community of Carlisle need to know that they are safe from these unwarranted attacks and invasions.”