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21 January 2011, 10:32
A serial burglar who struggled with a home owner when he was disturbed has been jailed for four years.
James Barlow, 44, who has been offending since he was 14, was told by a Judge that such a confrontation was every householders 'nightmare'.
"It was a frightening and traumatic matter for them," said Judge Michael Kay QC at Luton Crown Court on Thursday.
Barlow, of London Road, Bedford had pleaded not guilty to burgling a house further along London Road on Jan 13 last year.
He was found guilty unanimously.
The jury heard that he broke into the property at 6.30 in the morning while the owners were asleep, but they were disturbed by the noise.
They came downstairs and Barlow struggled with the man, dragging him across the kitchen, and then fled.
Police went to his home later that day to arrest him, but he jumped from a window and had to be restrained with the use of cs gas.
But Barlow claimed it was a case of mistaken identity. He said he had always pleaded guilty to his crimes in the past.
Judge Kay told him: "You are a prime example of the effect drugs have on people. It leads to a life of offending. You have convictions for 95 offences, a number of them for house burglaries. On Jan 13 you were probably desperate to obtain money for drugs when you entered that house. It would be hoped that given your age and all the prison sentences you have served you might have made a different choice by now. Lord only knows when you will decide to lead a different life."