A prolific criminal who was “wrestled to the ground” by a couple whose home he was burgling has been jailed for four years.
Harry John Nicholson was caught after smashing his way into their home during the early hours of 20 March.
Carlisle Crown Court heard the five-bedroom house was also a home to vulnerable adults but no one inside at the time was aware of the burglary.
Nicholson, 47, of no fixed address, admitted burglary with intent to steal.
Prosecutors said he was restrained by the husband and wife, who kept him pinned at their Carlisle home despite his attempts to break free.
‘Attacks and invasions’
He was found in possession of two screwdrivers and the husband’s mobile phone, and had bundled a sizeable stash of electronic items into a suitcase ready for removal.
About £2,000 of damage was caused to the property and the couple has since spent around £3,500 bolstering home security, the court heard.
The wife, who spent three nights sleeping in a chair after the break-in, later told police: “You should be able to feel safe in your own home.”
The court heard Nicholson had 280 offences on his criminal record. His barrister Alison Whalley said he was “ashamed of himself”.
Jailing Nicholson, Judge Peter Davies said: “These offences have to be properly punished and people in the community of Carlisle need to know that they are safe from these unwarranted attacks and invasions.”