Have-a-go hero catches thief in action
AJUDGE has hailed the bravery of a man who tackled a burglar at his home.
Rosario Albanese rushed home when his daughter – who was home alone – called him to say there was an intruder in the house.
The heroic homeowner caught Christopher McDonald, 45, as he was leaving the property and climbing along the top of the conservatory.
Rosario swung a garden rake at McDonald who then broke his leg jumping from the roof in a desperate attempt to escape.
McDonald, of Kendal Road, Macclesfield, hobbled away but was quickly picked up by police with a stolen watch, wallet and gold chain.
The prolific criminal, who has almost 200 con- victions including 13 burglaries, admitted burgling the home on Priory Lane, Upton Priory.
He was jailed for three years and four months.
Chester Crown Court heard that McDonald broke in at 10.45am on July 9 while Mr Albanese was at the gym and his 20-year-old daughter Nina was alone in the house.
Prosecutor Jayne Morris said: “She heard noises coming from downstairs and saw in the reflection of a picture a figure in black.
“She grabbed a phone and locked herself in the bathroom. She called her dad and was in a state of terrified panic.
“Mr Albanese was back at the house within minutes. He heard footsteps on the conservatory roof.
“He saw the patio doors had been removed from their hinges.
“He went outside and saw the defendant trying to escape. McDonald had a carrier bag on his shoulder.
“The homeowner ordered him down. The defendant raised the carrier bag and shouted ‘get away, I have a gun’.
Mr Albanese picked up a garden rake and swung it at the defendant.
“On the second attempt he hit his leg. The defendant then jumped from the conservatory and ran off but was police.”
McDonald, defending himself, said: “I never said I had a gun.
“I suppose the victim said that after he saw the injuries he had caused me and was worried what might happen to him.
“I am sorry for what I have done.”
Sentencing Judge Roger Dutton said: “It was a terrifying experience for the homeowner and his daughter.
“It was quite plain that he was determined not to see you get away. He hit you with a rake.
“It was the entirely the appropriate under the circumstances to detain a serious criminal.”
Speaking after the sentencing Mr Albanese said: “I’m not a hero. I just wanted to protect my daughter and my home.
“I’m glad he was jailed but wish it was for longer.”
●● Jailed: Christopher McDonald