Updated: Wednesday, 19th February 2020 @ 11:35am

'Goldilocks' burglar gets new bed in jail after falling ASLEEP while raiding Bolton home

'Goldilocks' burglar gets new bed in jail after falling ASLEEP while raiding Bolton home

| By Jon Harris

A 'Goldilocks' burglar was back behind bars today after he was found by his victims lying ASLEEP on their sofa in Bolton.

Dozy Derek Hardman, 31, decided to take a nap just like the fairytale character as he prowled around the bedroom of pensioners Betty Spencer, 77, and husband John, 71.

The career criminal was later found snoring away on the bedroom settee by Mrs Spencer who had been in the lounge watching TV.

She then called her husband and neighbours who prodded the raider to wake him up – then held onto him until police arrived.

Hardman – who has a string of burglary convictions - wa said to have been 'overcome by tiredness' as he rummaged around the couple's first-floor flat in sheltered accommodation at Deane, near Bolton.

He had sneaked in through an unlocked door on the afternoon of May 5 and went into the couple's bedrooom as they sat in the lounge, Bolton Crown Court heard.

Initially Hardman searched the room, moving jewellery worth £10,000 and fishing equipment.

But trouble began when he took a breather on the sofa in the bedroom's bay window and dozed off.

When he was woken up, Hardman tried to bite the leg of one of the neighbours but the fabric of his trousers saved the victim from injury. Police called to the flat, found six diazepam tablets in his pocket.

Inquiries revealed Hardman was on licence from a previous prison sentence at the time of the raid.

In 2010 he was jailed for seven and a half years after he forced his way into the home of 93-year old great-great-grandmother and pushed her over so he could grab £100 from her purse. Yet it is thought he had been freed early last year for good behaviour.

He has a long history of previous convictions for theft and burglary, including 12 months for burgling an 87-year-old woman in May 2003 and 22 months for robbery in February 2008.

His targeting of OAPs led to calls for CCTV to make the elderly feel safer at home.

On Tuesday Hardman pleaded guilty to burglary with intent, assault and possessing diazepam and was sent back to jail for a further two years and eight months.

He claimed he had no recollection of the incident. Hardman is not due to be released until 2017.

At a previous hearing, defence counsel Philip Parry said Hardman was 'in the vice-like grip' of drug addiction when he committed his crimes.

He added: ''He is very sorry for what he has done and is trying to get clean in prison.''

Story via Cavendish Press.

Image courtesy of MGM via YouTube, with thanks.