Karen Hale had crept into an elderly couple's home and was tiptoeing through their bedroom when the wife was woken an started screaming for her husband
A Burglar who tried to stab an elderly man who grabbed her after she was found in his home has been jailed for more than three years.
Karen Hale, aged 52, pleaded guilty to burglary on the day of her trial at Plymouth Crown Court.
The court heard she entered a ground-floor flat of a property in St Judes via an unlocked rear door on the afternoon of November 15.
The residents, a 77-year-old man and his wife, also in her 70s, were initially unaware of her presence until the wife entered the couple’s bedroom. She spotted Hale, who has a long history of similar convictions, and screamed, alerting her husband.
He grappled with Hale and the court heard he punched her twice.
In the kitchen area, as he tried to restrain her from behind, Hale grabbed an eight-inch kitchen knife and jabbed over her shoulder towards the elderly man’s face.
Officers later retrieved the elderly woman’s purse and cards which had been secreted in an area of the kitchen.
Hale, of Keyham Road, Keyham, had previously pleaded not guilty, claiming the elderly man had dragged her into his flat and attacked her.
The court heard a victim impact statement from the elderly woman who said she had “never been so paranoid in my own home, especially when it’s dark outside”.
She said she suffered flashbacks that Hale was still in her bedroom and was now “paranoid about locking all the doors and windows”.
Sentencing Hale, Recorder Williams said: “It must have been the most absolutely frightening thing [for the couple] to find someone in their home. The gentleman confronted you while police were called. You got hold of a knife and made stabbing motions.”
He said her burglary “wasn’t an act that was out of character” before listing her criminal records which included a number thefts including one of two charity boxes.
He sentenced Hale to 30 months for the burglary and nine months for breaching a suspended sentence, to run consecutively, amounting to three years and three months.
The judge also recommended the 77-year-old husband who restrained Hale to receive a financial commendation.