Burglar terrified 'home alone' mum


Staff reporter (Border Counties)

A BURGLAR who terrified a woman home alone with her baby has been put behind bars.
Christopher Lee Price, of Woolston Bank Cottages, Maesbury, admitted entering Gemma Mitchell’s house in Henley Drive, Oswestry where she and her two-year-old daughter slept and going into her bedroom while she “cowered” under the bed sheets.
A victim personal statement read by prosecutor Robert Edwards at a hearing in Shrewsbury Crown Court revealed how deeply she had been affected by the “traumatic experience”.
“She considered herself to be a strong woman but after this she went into shock,” he said
“She had been petrified, literally paralysed with fear.
“She was scared to leave the house and was crying to the point of shaking on her way to work,” he added.
Mrs Mitchell said she felt defenceless and had no idea what Price, 38, wanted or what he might do to her and her child.
The court heard she was woken in the early hours of April 24 when her husband was away at work by the sound of footsteps in the kitchen.
Mr Edwards said: “She cowered beneath the bedding as she heard footsteps coming to the bedroom door and then sensed the trespasser coming close to her bed.
“She was terrified for the safety of her child in the next room.”
The court heard she had dialled 999 but, deciding it was safest to fake sleep, she only pressed call once she heard Price, a drink and drug addict, driving away in the family’s black Honda Civic.
Ian Durant, defending, told the court his client had lost his brother through a heroin overdose prompting him to quit the drug himself.
Unfortunately he had turned to alcohol instead and, as a result, could remember little of this crime.
“He is living a hand to mouth existence,” he said, “which is pretty sad for a 38-year-old man.
“He’s shocked himself and the whole thing has shaken him to the core.”
When pulled over by police in the Mitchell’s car he was found with a child’s black Lonsdale bag he had stolen from a vehicle in Cabin Lane and also admitted stealing a bottle of wine, an Easter egg and a chicken leg from the Mitchell’s fridge.
Price, in custody since the incident, was sentenced to two years for the burglary and four months each for taking a vehicle without consent and theft to run concurrent.
The judge gave no separate penalty for the other offences of driving without a licence or insurance but added four months consecutive custody for breaching a conditional discharge.
Judge Robert Onions called Price a prolific offender with 44 convictions under his belt from 80 offences over the last 22 years.
He said: “I hope your early guilty pleas reflect your acknowledgement of the harm you caused.
“You should be ashamed of yourself.”

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