Partially-sighted pensioner found ‘stoned’ raider in her bedroom

A VULNERABLE pensioner asleep at home in Bulwell was woken in the early hours of the morning by a drugged-up burglar switching on her bedroom light, a court heard.

The 62-year-old resident was partially sighted and had a heart condition.

She could not see the man clearly and thought it was her son, who was staying overnight on Tuesday July 20 last year.

She asked: “Are you sleepwalking?” The man replied “yes” but she then realised from his voice that it was not her son, Lisa Hardy (prosecuting) told Nottingham Crown Court.

The woman went downstairs at her semi-detached home in Gorse Court. It was about 2 am and she woke her son, who was sleeping in the living room.

He stepped outside and saw a man wearing clothing with distinctive lettering on it.

The police had already been called after a retired woman on Hucknall Road had heard her house door being rattled. She had watched a man walk away from her house and go to another house.

Officers arrested Darren Price-Jones (40), wearing the clothes described, and were concerned about his mental health, the court heard.

He said he had been smoking cannabis and was ‘stoned.’

The vulnerable woman disturbed at home told the police she was left ‘shaken and scared.’

Price-Jones, living at a Salvation Army hostel in Boston Street, Nottingham, admitted burglary with intent to steal and had prior convictions for theft from a house where he was a guest, three common assaults and criminal damage.

His barrister, Harry Bower, said: “He was actually quite ill at the time of the offence. He is now taking his medication and not taking unlawful drugs.”

Judge Michael Stokes, the Recorder of Nottingham, said a psychiatrist felt prison would have an adverse affect on Price-Jones’s mental health.

Normally the sentence would be 21 months custody or more.

But at the time Price-Jones had stopped taking the medication which controlled his condition. Now he had been stable for many months.

The sentence was a two-year community order with a 12-month mental health treatment requirement