Teen wakes up to find convicted killer in her bedroom


A TERRIFIED teenage girl awoke to find a killer had broken into her Scarisbrick home, a court heard on Monday.

The 19-year-old was awoken about 1am by the sound of someone rifling through her drawers in her bedroom “which caused her to freeze.”

After a few minutes she heard the intruder going into the dining room and getting out of bed she realised that he had got in through the unlocked front door.

She woke her mum and they discovered that the burglar, Liam O’Brien – who was on licence for the manslaughter of Merseyside man Ryan Dugdale – had stolen an iPhone and a laptop computer, said Charlotte Atherton, prosecuting.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that 26-year-old O’Brien, who broke into another bungalow down the same road half an hour later and also scared another woman resident, had been released from prison just four months earlier.

He was given an indeterminate sentence in May 2008 after admitting unlawful killing and arson being reckless whether life was endangered while on licence.

His 21-year-old victim, Ryan Dugdale, who was asleep upstairs at his home in Anfield, died from smoke inhalation after O’Brien started a blaze downstairs to avoid being caught for burgling the house to steal plasma TVs.

A minimum term of four and a half years was imposed but he actually served seven and a half years before being released on licence last July.

Judge Jane Moulder today sentenced O’Brien to 15 months imprisonment for the two burglaries in New Cut Lane, Scarisbrick.

He was recalled to prison after his arrest for those offences and will not be eligible to apply for parole from the manslaughter sentence until after he has served the new term.

O’Brien, formerly of Hildebrand Road, Anfield, pleaded guilty to the burglaries.

Miss Atherton said that about 12.30 am November 29 last year a woman in her home in New Cut Lane saw a man peering through her window and he gestured that he was watching her.

He walked off checking parked cars and about half an hour later the 19-year-old woman living further down the road awoke to find him in her bedroom. About 2.30 am a householder in the same road was awoken by the sound of footsteps in his hallway and kitchen.

He shouted what was going on and heard the front door shut and going outside saw him sitting in his van, having stolen the keys.

“He asked what ‘what do you think you are doing?’ to which he replied ‘just trying to get off’ and started moving the vehicle about five metres before he got out and walked away.

The police quickly arrived at the scene and O’Brien, of  Liverpool Road, Southport, who had been drinking, was arrested. A wallet taken in that raid was found nearby as was the property stolen in the earlier burglary, said Miss Atherton.

Michael Bagley, defending, said that O’Brien, who has committed a total of 22 previous offences, “fell into the clutches” of those who exploited his vulnerability when he was 16. He was using cannabis and led a chaotic lifestyle.

The burglaries had not been planned and he had just gone out that night for a drink with his dad and his behaviour afterwards had “been troubling and bizarre,” said Mr Bagley.

“He wants to apologise to those he must have frightened,” he added.

Source: Ollie Cowan



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