A burglar has been jailed for raiding the home of a pregnant woman who suffered a miscarriage two days later.
Karl Clark, 35, fled the property through a bathroom window after the woman’s husband was woken by her screams and confronted the intruder.
The raid left the mum so terrified she had to move house, and two days later the woman, who was 11-weeks pregnant, suffered a miscarriage.
Clark, of Kelbrook Close, Leicester, was caught after DNA was found on a shoe he left at the house on Beaumont Leys Lane, Leicester, on December 18 last year.
He admitted burglary with intent to steal, handling a stolen headset, and asked for 20 other house burglaries and an attempted break-in to be taken into consideration.
Jailing him for six years at Leicester Crown Court, Recorder Nicholas Syfret QC said:
“You’re a career criminal; you need to commit crime to get money to pay for drugs.
“It was an unpleasant burglary where the husband acted courageously and his wife was left devastated.
“Two days later she suffered a miscarriage.
“She doesn’t say it was caused by the burglary but it’s hard to think it had no bearing on it.
“She’s suffered panic and distress that lasts to this day.
“If you can conquer your drug addiction you may be able to conquer your criminal behaviour.”
Prosecutor Alan Murphy said the day before the break-in the young mum, who also had a 15-month-old daughter, had a scan and the baby was healthy.
In a victim impact statement the woman said she was unable to blame the burglary for the loss of her unborn child, but added: “I’d say it was a significant factor.
“That address was the first home we moved to after getting married and we were happy there.
“The person who did this had no respect or regard about turning our lives upside down.
“My home is the one place I should be able to feel completely safe.”
The woman described the burglary as “absolutely terrifying and what nightmares are made of.”
She said she felt unable to cope and had a “complete breakdown”.
She now sleeps with the lights on with a chair against the door, and checks every door several times before going to bed.
The court heard Clark has 49 offences on his record, of which 27 are theft related, including six house burglaries.
He admitted the theft of £8,000 worth of property in the 20 previous house burglaries.
James Bide-Thomas, defending, said: “He didn’t seek a confrontation with the house owners and sought to flee not fight.
“It’s apparent the effect on the victims was severe.
“For much of his life he’s committed crimes to fund his drug problem.”