Police release disturbing footage of burglar caught stealing from pensioner’s home as she sleeps

Margaret Woodward, 68, given award for bravery after chasing thief from her home and ‘trying to break his kneecaps’

Chilling CCTV footage has been released showing a burglar stood over a sleeping old woman as her home is raided – for the fifth time in a year.

Patrick Reid, 51, has been jailed for four years and eight months after police installed hidden cameras in the home of 68-year-old Margaret Woodward.

Ms Woodward, from Long Eaton in Derbyshire, said she was left terrified after her house was targeted so many times, and said she couldn’t bring herself to watch the clips that were filmed because they made her “feel like she didn’t want to live any more”.

In the video, Reid can be seen rifling through Ms Woodward’s belongings, opening up the handbag attached to her mobility scooter and even touching her at one point, apparently to check she is still asleep.

The footage then shows him fleeing as he trips an alarm – only to be chased by a furious Ms Woodward wielding a walking stick.

She told the Daily Mail: “It was very frightening to wake up knowing there was somebody in my house but I was determined not to let him get away.”

Ms Woodward, who suffers from severe arthritis in both knees, told the newspaper she wanted to break his kneecaps so he could not escape.

Reid was caught after police installed cameras in Ms Woodward's home Reid was caught after police installed cameras in Ms Woodward's home “I thought I'd be able to get him but he ran into my bedroom, jumped on to the bed and went straight out of the window like a gymnast tackling a hobby horse,” she said.

She has since been awarded £1,500 for bravery from the High Sheriff's fund, Derbyshire Police said.

Reid was convicted for two of the five burglaries. The Crown Prosecution Service initially accused him of the other three offences too, but later dropped the charges.

Detective Constable Gill Richardson, the investigating officer in the case, said: “The CCTV footage is chilling to watch and it's particularly shocking how brazen Reid is in it, being just inches away from Margaret.

“It's something that just gets more shocking the more times you see it.”

Ms Woodward chased Reid from her home with a walking stick Ms Woodward chased Reid from her home with a walking stick “We install these cameras in homes where someone has been a repeat victim of crime, or where we believe the homeowner is vulnerable.

“This case shows just how valuable they are and these cameras have helped bring to justice a prolific burglar, who caused such a massive amount of distress to his victim.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Travel
Suite dreams: the JW Marriott in Venice
travelChic new hotels in 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect