A BRAVE pensioner who came face-to-face with a young burglar who had broken into his remote Blackpool home tried in vain to detain him, a court heard.
The 79-year-old was only in his greenhouse for a matter of minutes when he returned to his home in Old House Lane, Marton, and heard a bang, Preston Crown Court was told.
And when he went to investigate he saw someone running towards his kitchen and gave chase.
Ryan Murray-Land, 22, had apparently been hiding behind a door and reached the back door before Mr Reynolds caught up with him.
Jeremy Grout-Smith, prosecuting, said the pensioner grabbed Murray-Land’s right-arm as he tried to drag him towards the door.
Murray-Land kept repeating an excuse that he had ‘been in a car crash’, but Mr Reynolds noticed he had part of his loose change collection, which he kept in his bedroom, in his hands.
The plucky pensioner continued to hold on to him but in the struggle his left forearm came into contact with the door, causing a cut, and the younger man fled, hurdling the front gate.
The victim discovered that £60 in cash had been stolen and alerted police, added Mr Grout-Smith.
Murray-Land’s fingerprints were found on an internal door at the house and he was eventually arrested.
DNA was also taken from a black ‘hoody’ which the defendant discarded while escaping.
Mr Grout-Smith said it was clear the defendant had been ‘watching’ the house.
In a statement, the pensioner said the incident had left him feeling uneasy and fearing Murray-Land might return.
In mitigation, it was said that while the offence was admittedly ‘nasty’, Murray-Land had not intended to injure the older man.
But it was accepted that during any daytime burglary there remained a risk of the victim being disturbed or a confrontation, the court heard.
Murray-Land, of Ibbison Court, Blackpool, who admitted burglary, was jailed for 27 months by Judge Pamela Badley.