A Scottish householder came home to find a Goldilocks-style intruder had been drinking his wine, cooking in his kitchen and sleeping in his bed.
Mark McRae’s return woke up the stranger, who was still tucked up in his bed, in the early morning of June 24 after a night away from his home in South Shields.
In a sinister twist of scenes from the childrens’ Goldilocks tale, 31-year-old raider Anthony O’Donnell, who has 221 past convictions, had crept in through an unlocked window the night before, helped himself to supper and then tested out the beds until he found one that was just right.
Prosecutor Glenda Turnbull told Newcastle Crown Court: “The householder went into the kitchen and described it was a mess. The toaster had been used and there was a smell of cooking within the kitchen.
“He then went upstairs. He first checked the front master bedroom and saw the bed had been slept in, there was a bottle of lager down the side of the bed and the curtains were drawn. He checked the rear bedroom of the house and again the bedding had been thrown around, as if someone had been in the bed.”
When Mr McRae entered a third bedroom he found O’Donnell hiding behind the door.
O’Donnell ran from the house, clutching a half drank bottle of wine up his jumper, but was chased by Mr McRae and arrested nearby after a neighbour called the police.
At Newcastle Crown Court on Wednesday, August 8, Judge Penny Moreland jailed O’Donnell, of no fixed abode, for two years and five months after he admitted burglary.
She said: “It was an appalling intrusion on his privacy and he must have been horrified to return home and find you had been through his property, taking his food and sleeping in his bed.”