Terrified South Yorkshire woman found masked burglar in bedroom

Anthony Medlam
Anthony Medlam
Have your say

A terrified woman awoke to find a masked burglar beside her bed, a court heard.

Three thieves had broken into the four-bedroom detached home through a rear conservatory door at Lady Croft Lane, Hemingfield, near Barnsley.

Heather Raynor, aged 58, was asleep with her 10-year-old granddaughter when one of the men asked for jewellery and threatened: “I will break your neck.”

One of the burglars Anthony Medlam, 26, was later identified by a footprint he left at the scene, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

David Wain, prosecuting, said the victim’s partner was away on March 5 when she went to bed.

But shortly after 4am she awoke to find a man crouched down by her bedside wearing a balaclava.

She challenged him and tried to hit him but after he swore at her became scared for herself and her grand-daughter.

She could hear the men talking downstairs but managed to call the police who arrived 10 minutes later.

The house had been searched, the TV and a DVD player were on the floor and fridge and a freezer rifled.

In the studio, papers were strewn all over and £940 belonging to Mrs Raynor’s business had been stolen along with sentimental photos, a camera, CDs, a mobile phone, perfume and the house and car keys.

A Ford Focus was found nearby and Medlam’s DNA was matched on a glove inside. Much of the property was recovered but shoes, perfume, rings and earrings were missing.

Medlam, of Wellington Crescent, Worsbrough Dale, admitted burglary and asked for a shed burglary during which he stole power tools to be considered. He was also sentenced for stealing a vacuum cleaner elsewhere.

Andrew Smith, defending, said he had convictions for dishonesty and became involved with others who were more sophisticated.

His accomplice who confronted the householder was more culpable than he was.

But Judge Michael Murphy told Medlam: “For burglaries, this is getting up to the very top end of seriousness. It was a night-time burglary by a group of men.

“One of your colleagues was masked with a balaclava. He went to the bedroom where this unfortunate lady was asleep. She must have been terrified.

“It must have scared the living daylights out of her. If you had been the person in the bedroom your sentence would have been longer but you were still part of a team.”

Medlam was jailed for three years and nine months.