Terrified Waterlooville woman hid in bathroom as Portsmouth thief broke in

JAILED David Woodham
JAILED David Woodham
Vicky Beckett back in her car after it had been professionally cleaned     

Picture: Habibur Rahman

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A WOMAN was left terrified as she watched a shadowy figure break into her home while she was powerless to stop him.

Maureen Roach could see David Woodham from her bedroom window as he got into her garage and then forced the patio doors into her house.

The 58-year-old was home alone because her husband away on business when she was woken at midnight by the sound of Woodham, of North End Grove, North End, Portsmouth, walking up the gravel drive.

She banged on the window to scare the hooded man off but, after pausing for a moment, he carried on towards the house.

Terrified, she dialled 999 as she watched him force the doors open and was told to hide in her bathroom and lock the door until the police arrived.

When the officers got there minutes later they found the 36-year-old pretending to be asleep on the sofa, claiming it was his friend’s house.

He had been smoking cannabis and gave them a false name, saying he was John Jones from Hong Kong.

Woodham, who has 36 previous convictions, including two for burglary, was jailed for two years and five months at Portsmouth Crown Court.

The judge was given a letter from Mrs Roach, of Oaklands Grove, Waterlooville, detailing the impact the ordeal has had on her life.

She said she feels violated and has been left scared to be in her own home.

Jailing him, Judge Roger Hetherington said: ‘This was a very nasty burglary in that it was committed against a house which was occupied at the time by a 58-year-old woman on her own who had been asleep in her own house but was awoken by the noise of you on the gravel outside.

‘She was able to see what you were doing and was extremely frightened, understandably.

‘I have seen a letter which she has written which evidences the impact that the whole offence has had on her, which is considerable.’

The judge added: ‘She saw the patio doors being forced open and realised that you were on the premises when she was alone in the house on the telephone to the police.’

Woodham pleaded guilty to burglary and possessing cannabis following his arrest on October 11.

Howard Barrington-Clark, defending, said the thief was sorry and had written a letter to Mrs Roach to apologise.