Northampton man jailed after drunken break-in of a neighbour's house left a mother terrified

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A 29-year-old man who broke into his neighbours' house while drunk before leaving without stealing anything will spend the next eight months in jail because of the traumatic effect he had on them.

John Howard of Ashcroft Gardens, Abington, Northampton, pleaded guilty to breaking into the property on May 9 last year, which resulted in a mother and her 33-year-old son locking themselves in their bathroom.

The two occupants had heard Howard crashing and fumbling around after he had taken off his boots and coat and smashed a window to gain access, leaving a bloodstain on the window frame in the process.

The pair went down to investigate, only to decide on the safer option which was to lock themselves in the bathroom and call the police.

Howard was in the house for 10 minutes and had left by the time police arrived. His DNA was recovered from the blood.

The mother was left "shocked and scared", the court heard, and has since bought additional security. Her son is afraid to leave her at home alone.

Defending, Miss Wilson pointed to the inebriated state of her client at the time of the incident, which he claims not to remember because he was so drunk.

Miss Wilson told the court Mrs Littlewood could smell the alcohol while going downstairs, which evidenced Howard's drunken state.

Although nothing was stolen from the property, Judge Lucking gave Howard an eight-month sentence because of the psychological effects on Mrs Littlewood, as well as the damage to the window and unpleasant bloodstain.

Howard has 13 convictions for 20 offences. One for house burglary in 2008 which he received a suspended sentence but later breached.