BURGLAR Declan John Skimmings got more than he bargained for when he crept into a house in Wrexham one evening in March.

Householder Adam Richards spotted him at the top of the stairs holding his wife’s handbag.

He confronted the intruder on the stairs and they both fell to the bottom.

Skimmings was punched a number of times in an attempt to restraining him.

Police later found his DNA in the blood left on the wall and back door.

Skimmings, 25, of no fixed abode but who comes from Wrexham, was a “three strikes” burglar because of his previous record and faced a statutory minimum three year sentence.

But it was reduced to 876 days – just under two years and five months – because of his early guilty plea.

Stephen Edwards, defending, told Mold Crown Court today that his client appreciated the inevitable sentence.

Mr Edwards said his client’s blood was left at the house as a result of Mr Richards’ reasonable attempts to restrain him by force.

The complainant accepted that he had punched him a significant number of times to the head area. The defendant made no complaint about that, he said.

Judge Huw Rees said that he was very glad to hear it.

The defendant, he said, had admitted a serious burglary with intent to steal.

He told the defendant: “You should understand that Mr Richards and his partner were doing nothing more than enjoying the comfort and security of their own home.

“There is no more frightening experience that someone else being at the property creeping around.

“This was a serious burglary because there was a confrontation with the householder on the stairs.

“Mr Richards was perfectly entitled to take the action that he did.”

The judge said that it would have been a very frightening experience, particularly when dealing with someone like the defendant, affected by drugs, who could be unpredictable.

Judge Rees told Skimmings “you seem to want to make it your life’s work to burgle other people’s property.”

Prosecutor Karl Scholz said that Mr Richards and his partner were at home at Cefndre in Wrexham on March 15 when they heard the noise of creaking floorboards.

Mr Richards went to investigate and found the rear door open.

He closed it and was returning to the front room when he saw a man who turned out to be Skimmings at the top of the stairs holding his wife’s handbag.

Mr Richards immediately went upstairs and demanded to know what he was doing there. Skimmings started to come down the stairs and tried to push past him.

There followed an altercation during which both stumbled down stairs and ended up at the bottom near the back door.

Mr Richards was trying to maintain a hold on the burglar and strangely the defendant said at one stage “wait until Skimmings hears about this.”

The victim was able to open the back door and he pushed the defendant out.

Skimmings was bleeding and his DNA was found on blood on the wall and on the back door.

He later gave a no comment interview.

The defendant had 46 previous convictions including house burglary.

Mr Edwards said that said his client went into custody at 15 for burglary and again in 2013.

But in more recent times his life had improved and he had been working.

Unfortunately in the months leading to the burglary he had lost his accommodation, lost his right to benefits and was sleeping rough on the streets of Wrexham.

Without funds, he saw an insecure door and went in to look for money or for something to steal which he could sell, believing the house was not occupied.

Unfortunately for him the house was occupied and the occupier, showing great fortitude, sought to detain him.

At the time he was using street drugs and he was also quite heavily medicated following an incident a matter of days before when he had been the subject of a nasty attack by four men and he suffered wounds to his back with a machete, said Mr Edwards.