Notorious burglar collared by homeowner's sons and pet dog is sent down

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A proud mum-of-three has revealed how her sons and pet dog foiled a notorious burglar who broke into their home.

Diane Bolton telephoned police as her eight-year-old French Mastiff Barry and son James, 25 held intruder Thomas Kenny at bay in their elderly neighbour’s garden on Clanfield, Fulwood, Preston, until police arrived.

Thomas Kenny

Thomas Kenny

Kenny, who has committed several burglaries this year, is now starting a 28-month jail term

Today Diane, who is about to become a grandma to twins, was alerted by her sons at 1.15am on August 1.

She said: “It’s absolutely terrifying when you are faced with someone in your house.

“My son Joe, who is 23, heard him coming up the drive as there is a loose grid cover that always makes a noise when someone walks on it.

“His hearing is brilliant - I was fast asleep,

“The burglar was already in the kitchen when Joe went down, he didn’t get chance to take anything.

“Joe does self defence classes and wasn’t afraid, but I think I would have frozen.”

Kenny ran away from the house but moments later Diane’s other son, James, 25, spotted him.

She added: “ He was in next door’s garden - he ducked down when he saw us.

“James and our dog Barry went out and put him in a corner and I called the police, who were brilliant and here in three minutes.

She added Joe, a landscape gardener, and James, who works in HR, were angry because their next door neighbour, who they believed Kenny targeted first, is in his 80s and the consequences could have been serious if the elderly man had confronted him.

She added: “I’m so relieved he is off the streets, it does make you more nervous when something like this happens.

“I’m glad we’ve got the dog!”

Kenny, 59, of no fixed abode, was arrested and interviewed but denied any wrongdoing at first, stating that he was in the garden looking for a cigarette lighter he had dropped.

Preston Crown Court heard just four days earlier, at 2.15am on July 27, Kenny had forced through the back door of a home on Tunbridge Street while the victim was asleep on the settee in the lounge.

The victim was disturbed by the noise and woke to find her mobile phone and wallet, containing cash, missing from the coffee table, and a second mobile phone and laptop missing, valued at £1,600.

Kenny had left damage to the back door and blood smears up the walls. Crime scene investigators attended and took samples, which matched Kenny’s DNA profile.

He admitted two house burglaries at Preston Crown Court, which was told he has 27 convictions for 34 offences, including previous burglaries.