Have-a-go hero catches thief in ac­tion

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

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.”

caught

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●● Jailed: Christo­pher McDon­ald

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