TWO men detained by a brave householder as they burgled his flat have been jailed.
Carlisle Crown Court heard how occupant Aaron Wildey was using a communal bathroom at the Chatsworth Square property in the city, on January 27 when he heard noises and voices, and the door of his flat closing.
Mr Wildey returned to his home, encountered intruders Richard Ireland, 30, and 33-year-old Billy Moorhead, and realised £110 cash – which had been left on a fireplace – was missing. “Both defendants he saw looked shocked and panicked, and tried to get out of his way,” prosecutor Gareth Roberts told the court.
Mr Wildey snatched £30 cash from Moorhead’s hand, saying: “No one is leaving until I get the money.” Ireland was found with the remaining £80 after the burglars were detained by Wildey and other residents amid a struggle, and arrested.
Twenty-seven days later, while on bail, Ireland caused £10,500 fire damage to the basement of a multi-occupancy house at Compton Street in Carlisle. After drinking heavily, Ireland used a naked flame to start a blaze which had three separate “seats” but didn’t spread.
Ireland, of Flower Street, Carlisle, admitted burglary and arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered, and received a 45-month jail term. Moorhead, of Albert Street, Longtown, admitted burglary and was locked up for 18 months.
Judge David Potter praised burglary victim Mr Wildey’s courage, saying: “To his credit and his considerable fortitude he struggled with both of you and detained both of you with the assistance of other residents from the flats who had been alerted to the noise.”