A widow whose home was invaded in the dead of night by a prolific burglar was shocked to see CCTV footage of him casually enjoying a cigarette outside in the middle of the break in.
Seanene Silliss, 43, bravely stood up in Preston Crown Court to tell intruder Scott Brown how his crimes, which included helping himself to their pile of washing, had devastated their grieving family.
Moments later Brown was jailed for five years by Judge Beverley Lunt who said: “This is the fifth time you have been in the courts for burglaries - nothing seems to teach you that burglaries are serious offences and they cause untold misery and harm to the victims.
“I hope you listened with care when this lady told you how it made her feel.”
Today Seanene shared an image caught on her home CCTV system of Brown brazenly enjoying a cigarette in outside her home on Homestead Road, Fleetwood, in the middle of the burglary, as she and her 13-year-old son were asleep in their beds.
The tearful mum-of-two described how the family lost her husband, businessman Tony Silliss, who used to run a motorcycle shop in Fleetwood, to cancer four years ago aged just 43.
She said: “ We installed the CCTV after Tony died because I felt vulnerable.
“I feel guilty that I was asleep when Scott Brown could have done something to my son – but the police said it’s probably better that I didn’t wake up and confront him as anything could have happened.
“We found later a knife and rolling pin were taken, my head was in a spin and I was sick with worry.
“We couldn’t believe it when we watched the CCTV and saw him going in and out helping himself. He went in our home four times and was smoking a cigarette outside. he wasn’t bothered, We had signs up everywhere warning about CCTV but he did not care.”
Brown, 39, of Westmorland Avenue, Blackpool, had four more house burglaries taken into consideration.
He appeared emotionless as he listened to Mrs Silliss via video link from prison.
She told him: “ Since the incident I’ve felt frightened and vulnerable, very nervous at all times and scared to leave the house.
“I feel violated this person entered my home while me and my son were asleep in our address. He came in four times stealing our personal items.
“ I feel physically sick thinking about it.”
She also revealed she had suffered sleepless nights and at first had to have her friend stay over with her.
She was also overly protective of her son, who was unable to sleep.
Prosecuting, Peter Barr said: “ This defendant appears at 3am, goes to the front gate and goes in and out for almost an hour.
“The following morning at 7am Mrs Silliss immediately saw her lights were on and went into front room where her phone was normally on charge, but it had gone.
“They checked the CCTV system and were able to see the toing and froing.”
Defending, Paul Humphries revealed Brown had asked if he could apologise in person over the video link but was not allowed to.