A 17-YEAR-OLD ran from her home in terror after finding a criminal trying to break in through the kitchen window.
When neighbours rushed to help, burglar Daniel Storey then tried to convince neighbours that he wasn’t the raider – and even offered to help look for the offender.
The teenage victim was home alone while her parents were on holiday when Storey targeted the property in Old Commercial Road, Buckland.
She saw Storey trying to lift up a sash window – and fled next door to get two neighbours to help.
When the neighbours confronted him he told them he had just got out of his car and left the engine running because he needed the toilet.
He then offered to help in looking for any potential intruders.
The shaven-headed 29-year-old, who has convictions for 117 previous offences, then drove off but the police were able to trace his car registration.
When they caught up with him later that evening, on August 16, he again claimed he had stopped to go to the toilet.
But Storey, of Kings Road, Southsea, pleaded guilty to attempted burglary when he appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court.
Matthew Lawson, prosecuting, said the persistent thief had only just been given a suspended sentence for an assault on a shop assistant four days before the attempted burglary. Storey’s life of crime began at the age of 12 and his convictions include burglary, assault and drug offences.
Jailing the qualified plumber for 13 months, Judge Ian Pearson said: ‘You’re a man aged 29, you have numerous previous convictions, including convictions for burglary.
‘This offence was committed four days after you received a suspended sentence for an unpleasant offence.
‘You are a habitual and regular offender and I take the view that this offence is so serious that only a custodial sentence may be justified for it.’ offences.
Timothy Hunter, defending, said: ‘It was opportunistic.
‘He was in his car, the engine was running, he was due to pick up his girlfriend. He wasn’t roaming the area looking for a premises to burgle.’