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Widower left too terrified to live in marital home after burglar breaks in – before returning to taunt him – Hull Daily Mail

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A former Royal Marines Commando is too frightened to live in his home after being burgled by a man who called him a “f****** grass” when he reported it.

The 69-year-old widower was so badly affected after discovering the break-in he was taken to hospital “struggling to breathe”, Hull Crown Court heard.

When police arrived, they heard the burglar, Ajay Windas, shouting “You f****** grass” at the rear of the property, while holding a plank of wood ripped from the garden gate, with another at his feet.

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Windas, 22, who had returned to the house after burgling it, managed to smash a pane of glass in the back door before being arrested after a “short struggle”. He had some of the stolen property on him.

Cathrine Kioko-Gilligan, prosecuting, said the victim was away visiting his fiancée when Windas broke into the sheltered housing complex in west Hull by forcing open a bedroom window between April 8 and 10.

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He made an “untidy search of every room” before stealing property worth £790, as well as items of inestimable sentimental value.

These included a Commando dagger and medal, which left the retired victim “very upset”, he said, as “I intended to care for them and send them off to the Black Watch museum in the future”.

Also stolen were watches, limited edition coins, the spare key to his vehicle, and his passport and travel documents for a planned trip to Bulgaria.

‘I’ve lost my independence’

In a victim statement, the man said: “I’m 69 years old and live alone. I’ve lost my little bit of independence. I don’t know what has happened at all. I’m very upset as myself and my former wife had very many happy memories [here] since her passing away three years ago.

“I was taken to hospital as I was struggling to breathe. I’m planning to leave as I don’t feel safe in my home any more.”

Windas, of Kings Leigh, west Hull, admitted burglary, witness intimidation, and criminal damage. He had seven previous offences on his record, including a drugs conviction, handling stolen goods, and twice failing to comply with a community order.

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Paul Genney, mitigating, said Windas had been drinking with others at the time and had “little recollection of what happened”, suspecting his drink had been spiked.

“It’s entirely irrational to go back to the scene of a burglary, a disgraceful scene, I concede. It doesn’t show clear thinking on his part. He’s one of those people, in my submission; they are easily led, easily influenced by others who are more sophisticated than himself.”

Mr Genney said the offending was “completely out of character”, and Windas had expressed deep regret and remorse to the author of a pre-sentence report.

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He was experiencing his first taste of prison, which was “having the appropriate effect”, he said.

Jailing Windas for three years, Judge John Thackray QC told him: “It was perfectly obvious to you that this was sheltered accommodation for the elderly, and you targeted it as such.

“Some people never recover from dwelling house burglary, especially those of mature years, and your offending has had a profound effect on the victim in this case.”

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