BURGLARS left an 89-year-old deaf and partially sighted woman fearful of being alone in her own home, a court has heard.
Widow Kathleen Golthorpe had woken during the early hours of the morning to find that her home in Mildenhall had been raided while she was asleep on July 22.
Items taken were valued at more than £1,000 and included jewellery given to her by her husband and late daughter, Ipswich Crown Court was told last Friday.
The intruders even took her hearing aid, which Mrs Golthorpe said had left her feeling ‘very lonely’.
In a statement Mrs Golthorpe said: “I can’t begin to tell you how this robbery has affected me. I worry about getting up during the night.
“I hate having to be locked in. I feel I am a prisoner in my own home now. Any noise I think is people coming to the door.
“I worry in case they are going to hurt me. Nothing is the same any more and I worry if I should stay here.”
Justin Phillips, 19, of The America, Sutton, pleaded guilty to two offences of burglary.
He asked for nine similar offences to be taken into consideration together with one of attempted burglary.
Sentencing him to 28 months’ detention in a Young Offenders Institution, Judge Rupert Overbury told Phillips: “The waking agony and memory of what you did to her will last significantly longer than any prison sentence I am allowed to pass.”
Both burglaries to which Phillips had pleaded guilty happened on the same night, said prosecutor Andrew Thompson.
Phillips had been on bail for a break-in at a house in Trinity Avenue, Mildenhall, when his fingerprints were matched to ones found at Mrs Golthorpe’s house.
After being arrested, Phillips told police that he had become involved with two other men and accompanied them as they toured a housing estate looking for homes where windows had been left open.
Phillips said he had not entered all the properties and claimed that alcohol and peer pressure had led to his involvement.
Defending, Julianna Tolan said: “It appears that he was being coerced by the others by virtue of peer pressure.”
Phillips had not benefited financially from any of the offences.