A TEACHER left terrified after a man raided her home while she was sleeping has helped the prolific thief get his life back on track after a face to face meeting.
Vickkey Draycott, from Winmarleigh, said she was left “emotionally drained” after the meeting with the serial burglar but said it had helped with the “healing process” after she received an apology and learned more about the man behind the drug addict who had broken into her home.
The mother-of-one lost a collection of sentimental photos of her first year in teaching, stored on a camera, in the burglary of her home, off Park Lane, in May 2009.
The offender, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was high on drugs when he broke into the home through a conservatory door, before grabbing her handbag, which held the camera, her purse and various items, totalling £459.
The 27-year-old was caught and later jailed for two years, for multiple burglary offences.
Vikkey said: “I didn’t realise I had been burgled until early next day when getting ready for work.
“I’d heard the dogs barking at about 2am but thought it was next door going down the drive.
“I went into the dining room for my handbag and couldn’t see it then I went into the kitchen and there was glass all over the floor.”
“The thought somebody had been in my home was the worst feeling, everything in my handbag was replaceable but someone getting into your fortress, your safe haven...
“I couldn’t sleep, I was on sleeping tablets, the slightest bit of noise, I would think someone was back, it completely changed my life.”
Vikkey, 28, a primary school teacher in Manchester, said she had to think a long time before agreeing to a meeting, after community beat manager PC Phil Ladlow approached her about the sit-down.
She said: “There were more cons than pros, I’m the person who put this man in jail, how would he react, would he go crazy, try to attack me?
“But I firmly believe everyone deserves a second chance and when you dig a little deeper you find the good in people.”
A meeting was arranged at a police community flat in Lancaster.
Vikkey added: “I was terrified at first, I didn’t know what I was doing,” she said, “I walked in and saw him and how scared he was and how remorseful, he couldn’t even look at me.”
PC Ladlow, who chaired the meeting, said: “Victoria had felt as though she had been specifically targeted. Talking this through put her mind at rest and she feels she can move on.”