Youngster left terrified after home was burgled

Reporter:

Rebecca Cole and Elwyn Roberts

A MAN who bravely tackled a burglar he found in his conservatory in the early hours of the morning says his young son is still terrified in his own home.

Ian Leach, of Burton, said his 10-year-old was too scared to turn the lights off at night, five months after Mr Leach stumbled across John Marshall attempting to steal from the family home.

Yesterday, Marshall was jailed for 28 months, and although Mr Leach felt it was a fitting punishment, he said it could not remove the fear and upset he and his family had suffered.

Mr Leach said: “I would not wish what we’ve been through on anybody.

“The news that this man has been put behind bars doesn’t make it any easier for my son who is still terrified in his own home. And me and my wife are still nervous at night despite being extra cautious about locking up and staying safe.”

The 40-year-old described the night he found Marshall in his conservatory in the early hours of the morning in November last year.

He said: “I woke up at around 2.30am and saw the security light was on.

“I waited for it to go off but when it didn’t I went downstairs and immediately felt a really cold draft.

“I thought my wife must have left the door open but then I saw that a few things had gone like our Xbox and Wii and there was a strange light shining.

“Then a man just walked straight into the conservatory.

“I couldn’t believe it and didn’t know what to do, but I somehow got him into a headlock and shouted to my wife to phone the police.

“I was really scared for myself and because I knew I had a family upstairs.”

He said Marshall eventually freed himself and ran off but police were able to track him down and detain him with the help of a police dog.

He added: “We had a lot of valuables boxed up ready to go because we’d been selling them on eBay so if I hadn’t disturbed him he would have got the lot.

“But it’s the anger and the awful feeling that a stranger’s been in your property and the fear of something happening again that really stays with you.

“It makes you feel really vulnerable.”

Marshall, of Baytree Road, Tranmere, admitted burglary at Croes Howell Lane, Burton, on October 17 last year. A second attempted burglary in Burton, on the same day, which he denied, was allowed to remain on the file.

Sentencing Marshall, 36, at Mold Crown Court, Judge Niclas Parry said he took into account his guilty plea and the fact the previous burglaries were some time ago.

Prosecuting barrister Simon Parry said Mr Leach, his wife and children were all in
bed when he was awoken by a noise. He saw that there was a van outside and the security light was on. Mr Leach went to investigate and found Marshall in his conservatory.

The family’s Nintendo Wii was outside and other items had been taken including an X-Box, a mobile phone, and a digital camera, which were not recovered.

Police arrived at the scene and the police dog tracked a scent and found the white gloves used by Marshall, which led to his arrest after his DNA was found on them.

Marshall had previous convictions for 20 offences including burglary.

See full story in the Leader

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