Sheffield Burglar is jailed over night raid

Jonathan Messenger. Jailed for burglary.
Jonathan Messenger. Jailed for burglary.
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A burglar who raided the home of an 86-year-old Sheffield man while he slept upstairs has been jailed for six years.

Jonathan Messenger, aged 32, had been drinking when he joined a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old in the break-in.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Walter Jackson was asleep in bed at his home on Leighton Road, Gleadless, when the trio struck.

Mr Jackson, who has lived alone for 14 years, went to bed at about 8pm, but heard voices two hours later.

Neil Coxon, prosecuting, said Mr Jackson thought that they came from next door, but then realised there were three intruders in the house.

After a neighbour called police, Mr Jackson emerged from his bedroom to find police grappling with the two youths.

Messenger, of Fairleigh, Manor, Sheffield, was arrested in the kitchen after a struggle.

A window worth £200 had been broken to gain entry and a plant pot of great sentimental value to Mr Jackson, given to him by his late mother-in-law, had been smashed.

All the rooms, except the pensioner’s bedroom, had been searched and ransacked. A TV was stolen, but found nearby.

Mr Jackson said he found the whole experience ‘absolutely shocking and extremely frightening’.

He said: “I feel absolutely sick about what has happened.”

Messenger who has convictions for dishonesty and robbery, admitted burglary on Sunday, April 7. The youths are being dealt with at youth court.

James Gould, mitigating, said Messenger was not a career burglar and had been influenced by the teenagers who, although younger, had a string of convictions.

Mr Gould said: “He played a part, but he was not a prime mover in all of this.”

He had been saddled with a drug and alcohol addiction for years and his children had been taken into care.

Sentencing, Judge Peter Kelson said: “This offence was committed at night under the influence of alcohol.”