After a mother disturbed a burglar in her home she bravely followed him to the car park of a nearby hotel and took a picture of him on her phone before calling the police.
That helped to nail Ian Giles both for the burglary at her home – and for breaking into a room at the hotel, a judge has heard.
Giles (41) of Station Street East, Coventry, was jailed for two years and five months after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the two burglaries.
Prosecutor Rebecca Wade said that in February last year a woman was at home with her two young children at around lunchtime on a Sunday afternoon.
She was upstairs at the house in Narberth Way, Wood End, Coventry, when she heard the front door open and someone walk in, so she called out ‘hello.’
She got no reply, and when she looked downstairs she saw Giles who looked at her and then turned and left the house.
With some courage, she pursued him in her car and caught up with him on the car park of the nearby Hotel Premiere Classe in Wigston Road.
When she challenged him, he claimed he had been looking for someone to give him directions to McDonalds because he was not local and did not know where it was.
“She took out her phone and took a photograph of him and said she was going to call the police. He asked her not to, but she drove away and then called them,” said Miss Wade.
Meanwhile a housekeeper at the hotel found the door to a guest’s room was open and the television was missing from its fitting – and when the guest returned he found his phone charger had also gone.
The police were called, and when they checked the hotel’s CCTV camera it showed the woman from Narberth Way challenging someone on the car park – and that man then going into the hotel and later coming out carrying a TV.
As a result of that and the woman’s photograph they were able to identify Giles, who had a total of 45 dwelling and non-dwelling burglaries on his record.
As a ‘three strikes’ burglar, Giles was facing a minimum of three years in prison, minus the credit for his guilty plea, and Recorder Michelle Heeley QC indicated she would not go above that minimum term.
Jailing Giles, she told him: “I have to sentence you for two burglaries, including one where a woman was at home with her two children.
“It must have been terrifying for her, but she had the presence of mind to follow you and take a photograph of you.”