Police release disturbing footage of burglar caught stealing from pensioner’s home as she sleeps
Margaret Woodward, 68, given award for bravery after chasing thief from her home and ‘trying to break his kneecaps’
Chilling CCTV footage has been released showing a burglar stood over a sleeping old woman as her home is raided – for the fifth time in a year.
Patrick Reid, 51, has been jailed for four years and eight months after police installed hidden cameras in the home of 68-year-old Margaret Woodward.
Ms Woodward, from Long Eaton in Derbyshire, said she was left terrified after her house was targeted so many times, and said she couldn’t bring herself to watch the clips that were filmed because they made her “feel like she didn’t want to live any more”.
In the video, Reid can be seen rifling through Ms Woodward’s belongings, opening up the handbag attached to her mobility scooter and even touching her at one point, apparently to check she is still asleep.
The footage then shows him fleeing as he trips an alarm – only to be chased by a furious Ms Woodward wielding a walking stick.
She told the Daily Mail: “It was very frightening to wake up knowing there was somebody in my house but I was determined not to let him get away.”
Ms Woodward, who suffers from severe arthritis in both knees, told the newspaper she wanted to break his kneecaps so he could not escape.
“I thought I'd be able to get him but he ran into my bedroom, jumped on to the bed and went straight out of the window like a gymnast tackling a hobby horse,” she said.
She has since been awarded £1,500 for bravery from the High Sheriff's fund, Derbyshire Police said.
Reid was convicted for two of the five burglaries. The Crown Prosecution Service initially accused him of the other three offences too, but later dropped the charges.
Detective Constable Gill Richardson, the investigating officer in the case, said: “The CCTV footage is chilling to watch and it's particularly shocking how brazen Reid is in it, being just inches away from Margaret.
“It's something that just gets more shocking the more times you see it.”
“We install these cameras in homes where someone has been a repeat victim of crime, or where we believe the homeowner is vulnerable.
“This case shows just how valuable they are and these cameras have helped bring to justice a prolific burglar, who caused such a massive amount of distress to his victim.”