A retired couple had their home burgled just minutes after setting off for a funeral.
Burglar Louie Murray left his victims so paranoid and traumatised they are considering selling their home and moving from the area.
Derby Crown Court heard on Wednesday, July 25, how the 26-year-old, who has six previous burglary convictions, broke-in through a conservatory window at the property on Southfield Drive, at Dronfield.
Despite the burglar alarm sounding, he rifled through the home and stole a purse, a wallet, some Euros and a laptop from the couple’s bedroom and later tried to use a stolen bank card to withdraw money and buy goods.
Sarah Slater, prosecuting, read out part of the victim impact statement made by the couple after the incident on June 1, 2017.
The couple stated: “We are both from working class families whose parents taught us the value of hard-work.
“We both left school at the age of 15 and worked very hard so we could enjoy our retirement.
“We cannot understand or comprehend the thought that someone can just come along and do what they did.
“We are now paranoid about even leaving the back door unlocked when we are in the garden.
“We are even considering selling our home which we have lived in for many years and moving away from the area we know and like.”
Miss Slater said: “The victims had left the house at 1pm to attend a funeral but very shortly after the lady received a call from a neighbour to say their alarm was sounding.
“When they got home they saw a rock had been used to smash a conservatory door and their bedroom had been raided and the items taken.
“By 2.07pm, a stolen bank card was being used in the locality at a Barclays Bank and it was used again for other transactions before the victim had time to cancel them.”
Murray, of no fixed address, was recognised from CCTV carrying out the transactions and he was arrested.
He pleaded guilty to one count of burglary at the home at Dronfield.
Jailing him for 16 months of custody, Judge Jonathan Bennett said: “This has had a grave effect on the couple but you didn’t even give that a thought and you probably still don’t.”
Richard Veni, for Murray, said his client’s best mitigation was his early guilty plea.