Woman feared for her life and was ‘beyond scared’ during ‘extremely frightening’ burglary at flat in Ipswich

Sean O'Brien has been jailed for 30 months for the burglary in which he "shoved" past a "terrified"

Sean O'Brien has been jailed for 30 months for the burglary in which he "shoved" past a "terrified" homeowner after breaking into her flat. - Credit: Archant

A burglar who “shoved” past a terrified woman after she woke in the middle of the night to find him in her Ipswich flat has been locked up for 30 months.

The woman, who armed herself with a bottle after realising an intruder was in her flat, suffered pain and bruising to her shoulder after Sean O’Brien shoved her against a door as he tried to escape from the premises, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

O’Brien, 29, of Downside Close, Ipswich, admitted burglary at a flat in Packard Avenue, Ipswich on October 19 and asked for four offences to be considered.

Judge Rupert Overbury described the burglary at the woman’s ground floor flat as “extremely frightening” for her.

He said that when she chased after him while calling the police, O’Brien had stopped and laughed at her before following her back to her flat.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said the victim, who lived alone, had heard someone in her flat at about 3.30am and got up to investigate.

“She picked up a bottle so that if push came to shove she could hit him,” said Mr Crimp.

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She went into her kitchen and saw the window was open and then went to her living room where she saw O’Brien going through her handbag.

She asked him what he was doing in her flat and after mumbling something about someone letting him in, O’Brien had “shoved” past her as he ran out of the flat.

In a victim impact statement read to the court the woman said O’Brien had shoved her into the edge of her living room door causing pain and bruising.

She described feeling “beyond scared” and “helpless and alone” when she realised she could not get out of her home without being seen by the intruder.

She also described fearing for her life during the burglary because she did not know if the intruder was going to hurt her.

The court heard O’Brien was arrested after his cigarette lighter was found in the flat.

Nicola May, for O’Brien, said her client had committed the burglary in order to steal items he could sell to buy drugs.

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