Drunk man terrified woman by breaking into house and stealing blanket

An elderly woman will be scared for the rest of her days after a young man broke into her home, confronted her and stole her crocheted blanket, a court has heard. Jake O'Har-Boa, 26, was intoxicated when he forced his way into a scared woman's property after waking her up in the middle of the night.

He was initially spotted in her greenhouse and wandering around her garden on March 11, 2023. O'Har-Boa, of Grove Road in St Austell, then broke into her home through a window and confronted her before stealing two of her blankets. He appeared at Truro Crown Court on Friday (July 5) for sentence having pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal.

Prosecuting barrister Ian Graham said the pensioner was "scared" and phoned her daughter and police after the man wouldn't leave her garden at which point she heard glass smashing. The defendant soon entered her property and she yelled at him to get out of her home from the top of her stairs.

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She recalled how O'Har-Boa then told her in his drunken state 'there are people out there eating people'. She was frightened he would come upstairs and began threatening him with her walking stick.

"She said she felt scared about having an intruder inside her house and she didn't know why," the prosecuting barrister added. "The man then backed away from the stairs back into the lounge and the police assured her there was an officer and a dog on the way but she was too scared to go downstairs."

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She then saw the defendant return to her garden as the police arrived and her neighbour was also talking to the man and trying to calm him down before his arrest. It transpired that O'Har-Boa had smashed her patio window to gain entry and there was glass still falling out of it.

O'Har-Boa had in his possession one of her crochet blankets and a sheepskin blanket was also missing from the same sofa. The victim's neighbour described how the noise had woken both him and his partner up. They saw the victim's window smashed and went to assist and described the man as "confused".

In a victim impact statement, the 76-year-old woman explained she lives by herself and the incident will forever impact her, with her now waking up to the slightest noises. She said: "This has scared the hell out of me."

In his mitigation, the defendant apologised, took full responsibility and said he could not remember the events of that evening. His barrister also highlighted that he was previously of good character and had a single previous offence.

In his sentencing remarks, His Honour Judge Simon Carr said: "Anyone who gets so drunk that they behave in this way should never drink again. It's not a question of a pint occasionally on a Friday or a couple on Saturday, there is something about your constitution and something about an addictive personality that means you will do this again.

"There will be a Friday night where you get that third or fourth drink in you and somebody will get hurt or seriously injured. That is exactly what happens when people can't control their alcohol intake. To the extent you burgled a 76-year-old woman's house, break in through the back door, terrify her and steal a blanket. That level of loss of control is not normal."

He added: "She would have been absolutely terrified, not just that night but for the rest of her remaining life. She will go to sleep every night terrified of the person who broke into her house. That is what you have inflicted on the latter years of her life."

He said it was to O'Har-Boa's credit that he accepted responsibility immediately and expressed genuine remorse. He was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, suspended for two years.

He's subject to an electronically monitored curfew from 7pm to 6am for three months. He will also have to complete 20 hours of unpaid work and pay compensation of £425 for the broken window and £2,000 to the complainant. He will also pay £150 in costs.