A BURGLAR whose raid on a house left a 76-year-old woman in hospital with a broken hip has been jailed for more than three years.

It was the third time in two years the woman and her 82-year-old husband had been targeted by burglars in their sheltered accommodation, York Crown Court said. 

The husband said in a personal statement they now have to take so many precautions against burglars: "It makes me feel I am living in a prison."

Paul Barker, 41, made several attempts to get into the couple's  home in north York during the early morning of September 29, said Jordan Millican, prosecuting at York Crown Court.

They included burning plastic round a window in an attempt to get it open. 

“You should hang your head in shame,” the Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris, told Barker.

“You targeted a house which is obviously a house of elderly people. It was planned, it was an offence carried out in the early hours of the morning.

“People in the twilight of their lives are entitled to live in peace.”

Barker told the judge: “I would like to say I am very sorry and ashamed for what I have done.”

Barker, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to attempted burglary and was jailed for 38 months.

He was also made subject to a 10-year restraining order banning him from contacting the couple or going near their home.

The court heard he had 90 previous convictions, including house burglaries.

Mr Millican said the couple  had gone to bed after midnight on September 29. At 4.41am, staff at the homeless hostel where Barker was living, saw him leave. 

The husband was woken at 6.45am and confronted Barker through a window. 

Barker said: "I have just seen an intruder going over your door. I've called police".  He then left. 

The husband's personal statement said the noise made by the burglar disturbed his wife, who got out of bed and fell as she tried to open the blinds to see what was happening.

She broke her hip and was in hospital for three days.

The husband said: “I feel I deserve to live my life in peace having served my country. This incident makes me feel I am not able to do this.

“This incident has been a life changing incident to myself and my wife.”

Mr Millican said after Barker had gone, the husband found the burglar had used a garden chair to climb over his locked and bolted garden gate and other items in the garden had been moved.

A plastic pot in the garden had been wrapped in a gray jumper which had traces of Barker’s DNA.

After police arrested Barker, he refused to come out of his police cell to attend an interview and when police tried to ask him questions, put a blanket over his head. 

For Barker, Lily Wildman said he accepted he would be jailed and had admitted his guilt.