A BURGLAR was caught thanks to the victim’s brave son-in-law who lives next door.
Simon Duckett, 32, was seen to walk along Coed Aben and then go to the home of a woman who lived alone.
Next door neighbour Mark Daniels – the victim’s son-in-law – was suspicious and went to investigate.
He checked on Susan Murphy who said she had not seen anyone.
But Mr Daniels saw a man hiding against the wall of a rear utility room.
Mold Crown Court heard yesterday how Mr Daniels bravely confronted the burglar and restrained him, despite being threatened that he would be stabbed with needles.
The commotion drew the attention of other neighbours who helped restrain the intruder.
Police arrived to find Duckett being restrained by a number of people.
Duckett, of Deva Way, Wrexham, admitted burglary on November 13 and was jailed for a year.
Judge Philip Hughes said Duckett went to the victim’s home after dark but was stopped and detained by neighbours until the police arrived.
He was prepared to accept the burglary was impulsive and entry into the property was limited.
Unfortunately, he had an appalling criminal record with previous convictions for 86 offences – although it was his first house burglary.
He was drunk at the time and it was an aggravating feature that the complainant was at home and there had been a confrontation.
Prosecuting barrister Michael Whitty said Mr Daniels was in his bedroom when at about 5.45pm when he saw a man walk by.
The man went through the gate into the next door property where Mr Daniels’ mother-in-law lived.
He went to investigate and shouted to his mother-in-law, who had not seen anyone.
But when Mr Daniels returned to the utility area he saw Duckett pressed against a wall holding a drill box belonging to the complainant.
“The defendant tried to escape but he was restrained by Mr Daniels. He was assisted by Mrs Murphy and their shouts alerted two other neighbours and they all helped restrain Duckett.”
Mr Daniels told later how Duckett threatened to stab them with needles if they did not let go.
Duckett claimed he had been chased by five or six people and entered the property to take refuge.
Mark Connor, defending, said brave men had apprehended the defendant and he appreciated it would have been a frightening for the victim.
Mr Connor said his client was a heroin addict who had turned to alcohol after kicking his drug habit.The burglary occurred at a time when he had relapsed into heroin use.
He was at a crossroads in his life and he had the promise of six months work with his father, renovating a house.
Mr Connor added that Duckett had a positive attitude, wanted to beat his addiction and lead an useful life.