AN intoxicated intruder who broke into a couple’s Workington home as they slept in the dead of night has been jailed for almost four years.
Paul Gary McCracken, 37, committed the 10th house break of his considerable criminal career when he forced his way into the Harcourt Street property at 3-30am on March 20, disturbing the sleeping occupants.
While the male householder yelled at McCracken to leave, his partner was so shocked and unsure what would happen she desperately armed herself with a tin of paint. She later told police of the significant distress the burglary had caused, reporting being “jumpy, edgy and frightened” even when post is delivered and the door rattles.
“Both occupants have changed their sleeping habits so they are awake during the night to guard their property,” prosecutor Gerard Rogerson told Carlisle Crown Court today (TUES) as he summarised the woman’s victim impact statement. “They have even painted the kitchen in the middle of the night such is the disturbance to their sleeping pattern.”
McCracken was tracked down nearby by a police officer with a sniffer dog just minutes after the offence, still holding loot which included a laptop, keys and a pair of trainers.
In court this morning he admitted burglary. He had also previously pleaded guilty to a raft of other crimes, including two shop thefts, and the illegal possession of two drugs, an offensive weapon and a bladed article.
Jailing him for a total of 46 months, Judge Nicholas Barker noted McCracken, of Pecklewell Terrace, Maryport, was heavily convicted and heard he had received lengthy sentences in the past for house break-ins.
Judge Barker said: “You will have been told by numerous judges when you have been sentenced (in the past) that these acts of dwelling house burglary have a significant impact on these victims; that their homes are invaded, their privacy is violated. The lasting effects remain long after the break-in by you.”