A JUDGE has warned that burglars are risking their lives when breaking into other people’s homes.
The stark warning was issued as a late night burglar from Long Eaton who broke into a Sandiacre home was jailed for two years.
Richard Finlayson, who has no fixed address, was caught by police after he broke into the home of van driver Scott Foy in Bostock’s Lane.
Mr Foy was woken by Finlayson at 2am on November 11 and chased the raider from his home.
Derby Crown Court heard that Mr Foy gave a statement to police about how he might have reacted if he had caught Finlayson.
Mark Achurch, prosecuting, said: “He candidly said he would probably have killed him.”
And referring to that comment, Judge Andrew Hamilton said: “I am not condoning any action by a householder but the fact is that’s a risk a burglar runs.”
Finlayson, 25, admitted burgling Mr Foy’s home. Five other house burglaries, 21 non-home burglaries and a theft from a car were taken into consideration when sentenced. All took place between October and November.
After seeing the raider jailed, father-of-five Mr Foy, 37, said: “I have never wanted to kill anybody in my life but I want to kill this man when I see him. He has turned my life upside down.
“I am not really sleeping and when I do, I sleep downstairs. My wife wants me to check every little noise and when we leave the house, we always leave someone in.
“All my neighbours are in their seventies and I am glad he didn’t get into their houses,” said Mr Foy, who is currently unable to work because of epilepsy.
He recalled the incident which began soon after he had gone to bed. He heard a noise, thought it was one of his teenage sons but then heard another bump.
“I walked to the top of the stairs and saw this man at the bottom. I ran down, used a few swear words, and noticed the front door was open and he went through it. If I had put my shoes on I would probably have got him,” said Mr Foy, who believes Finlayson should have been jailed for longer.
Harry Bowyer, for Finlayson, said: “He made full admissions to the police and also helped to clean his sheet entirely. The defendant puts his remorse and regret for his behaviour forward.”
While awaiting sentence, Finlayson had attended bricklaying, electrician’s and cookery courses in prison.
“He is making a genuine attempt at rehabilitation,” said Mr Bowyer, who told the court that Finlayson’s last conviction for a house burglary had been when he was 16.