Terrified burglary victim hid in kitchen as her home was ransacked
TERRIFIED Anna Buckland hid in the kitchen for 10 minutes while burglar Ryan Lewis ransacked her home.
Gloucester Crown Court heard her 999 call where she begged police to come quickly as the 32-year-old searched her Gloucester house - unaware she was inside it.
Lewis was jailed for three years after being caught red handed in the act when cops came to her rescue.
Prosecutor Julian Kesner said the break in to Ms Buckland’s Reservoir Road home took place in day light on August 22 this year.
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He said: “On hearing glass in the window smashing that he broke to get in, she locked herself in the kitchen and at that moment she called the police.
“The police were quick in their response and within 10 minutes they had made their way to her house and found the window and front door had been broke.
“The police went upstairs. PC Richard Brooks and a dog caught the defendant red handed. He was in the hallway in the landing just outside one of the bedrooms.
“He was bitten by the police dog because he was not complying with instructions to lie down.”
The court heard Lewis of Rosebery Avenue in Gloucester suffered no injuries because of the bite on the hand as he was wearing gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints.
Mr Kesner played part of the 999 call in which Ms Buckland could be heard breathing heavily and obviously upset, but calmly telling the operator what was happening.
The community worker said: “Please help me. I am inside the property on my own. I am trying to hold the door because I don’t have a lock.
“Please be quick.”
Mr Kesner said in her victim impact statement Ms Buckland said she used to be a strong, determined and professional person who was not easily fazed, but her whole life changed that day.
The 57-year-old said she used to value her security and regarded her home as a safe haven and was having to see a post-traumatic stress disorder specialist.
Shortly after the break in she lost vision in her left eye from high blood pressure, had on going health problems and had spent just 15 minutes alone in her home since the attack.
She said: “Since the break in anything associated with that day fills me with dread and anxiety, including everyday things like the sound of sirens and glass breaking.
“I have terrible pains in my chest, I become breathless and I feel like I am going to pass out.”
Lewis, who was released from prison in June this year, asked for nine other offences to be taken into consideration, including seven dwelling burglaries.
Defending, Sarah Jenkins, said: “As is often the case, he didn’t have the easiest start in his life.
“Over the past decade he has spent more time in prison than out. He accepts when he is released he finds it difficult to put into practise what he has learnt in custody.
“He has tried to make a mends of what he has done by giving these victims closure.
Judge Alastair McGrigor jailed Lewis for three years and ordered he pay a £120 victim surcharge saying he took account of the “misery and upset” he had caused people.
He told Lewis: “You have a truly depressing record of dishonest, yet you continued to persist in these matters.
“You said you thought her home was empty, but you took the risk of someone being home.”