A BURGLAR confronted by his victim at a petrol station was "so drunk" he couldn't remember his crimes, a court has heard.

Ian Kidley, 21, entered a couple's house in Caerphilly on January 4 last year and stole keys to a van, and money from a purse.

The homeowners heard the vehicle's alarm, and when they rushed into the garden they saw the van being driven away.

The male victim jumped in his car and gave pursuit, eventually spotting the stolen van at a petrol station in Nantgarw Road, where a man was filling up the tank.

He followed the man into the garage shop and shouted: "Give me the keys to the van or you're having it."


Kidley handed back the keys to his victim, the court was told.

Coincidentally, a "distant relative" of the defendant was also at the petrol station at the time, and began shouting at him, asking him what he had done.

Kidley fled, but later that day the same relative tracked him down and marched him to Bedwas Police Station, despite the bewildered defendant asking: "What have I done?"

In the meantime, the female victim - still at home - realised her handbag had been raided and £40 cash stolen from her purse.

The court was read impact statements made by the homeowners.

"The incident has changed my life completely," the male victim's statement read, adding that his wife felt unable to relax and couldn't leave the house without being "on edge".

The couple have since installed new locks, a seven-foot fence and security lighting, costing them £1,500.

The victim said he felt "bullied" into improving security.

"I don't know what to do to make my family safe," his statement read. "I feel helpless."

Jeffrey Jones, defending, said Kidley had complied with his victim at the petrol station and later co-operated with the relative who had taken him to the police station.

Kidley, of Elm Drive, Ty Sign, Risca, gave a 'no comment' interview to police because he had no memory of committing the offences, Mr Jones said.

"Effectively, he was so spaced out from drink he couldn't remember," he added.

Kidley admitted one charge of burglary and another of theft at an earlier court appearance.

And Mr Jones said Kidley - who has no previous convictions - felt "much remorse" over the incident.

The court was told by Mr Jones the defendant had been "so drunk it robbed him of all sense" when he committed the burglary.

The judge, Recorder Dyfed Llion Thomas, said: "People are entitled to feel safe in their own homes.

"You caused real distress to people who didn't deserve to be treated in that way."

He jailed Kidley for a total of 12 months, suspended for 18 months.

The defendant must also complete 180 hours of unpaid work and 10 sessions of rehabilitative activity. He must pay £40 compensation and a £149 victim surcharge.

"Take this opportunity," the judge told Kidley. "Most people who commit burglary [of a house] go straight to prison. The court is effectively giving you a chance."