A BURGLAR who came face-to-face with a terrified girl after breaking into a home he thought was empty has been jailed for three years.
Adam Farley stumbled across the 13-year-old, who was off school sick, hiding in her bedroom during the May 6 raid on a house in Solihull.
But on encountering the teen Farley, from Kingshurst, had a guilt attack and fled. He even returned moments later to try and apologise.
Unbeknown to Farley the quick-thinking girl, whose mum had nipped out to a nearby shop, dialled 999 when she heard banging on the front door and spotted a strange van on the driveway.
Police were given a description of the vehicle and minutes later Farley was arrested nearby.
The 28-year-old, who had no previous convictions for burglary, admitted the offence and on Friday (June 18) at Warwick Crown Court was sentenced to three years imprisonment.
Detective Constable Dave Hollies, said: “I can’t praise the young girl enough. The second she knew something wasn’t right she phoned the police. It meant we were able to get officers on the scene quickly to apprehend the offender.
“In fairness to Farley he admitted the break-in at the first possible opportunity and co-operated throughout. I’ve never seen an offender show so much remorse - as a father himself he was genuinely sorry for what he’d done and that he’d upset a young girl.”
Farley had been cruising local streets looking for empty properties and, after picking his target, knocked several times to try and establish whether it was occupied.
However, the girl had been told not to answer the door to anyone.
DC Hollies, added: “Believing the home to be unoccupied Farley broke open the front door and headed to the bedrooms hoping to find jewellery. The moment he saw the girl he froze and forgot about stealing anything.
“Given that this was his first offence, he’s been given a very firm sentence.
“Once you break into a property you never know what you might find. Farley took that risk and is now paying a heavy price.”