Terrified Harrogate couple lock themselves in their bathroom to escape thief

Pouyan Ansari Beni.
Pouyan Ansari Beni.

A mature student has been jailed for two years after breaking into a couple’s home while they slept.

Pouyan Ansari Beni, 30, who is in the final year of a degree course in IT, raided the home in Harrogate after a drinking session.

The sleeping couple were woken by the sound of footsteps coming up their stairs, York Crown Court heard.

Terrified, they locked themselves in their bathroom and called police. When officers arrived at the scene in Rudbeck Drive, Ansari Beni made a run for it but was caught and arrested.

Police found £250 of clothes and a passport on him which he had stolen from the house. He was charged with burglary and appeared for sentence on Tuesday after pleading guilty to the charge.

Crown prosecutor Chris Rafferty said that since the incident the couple had changed all their locks and increased security at their home with money they had intended to spend on their honeymoon.

They had planned to go on safari to celebrate their wedding, but had been forced to change their plans as a result of the burglary and the money they had spent on making their home more secure.

Defence barrister Philip Standfast conceded that “this must have been a terrifying experience” for the couple, but added that Ansari Beni, of Oak Drive, Harrogate, “was not the typical burglar”.

“He’s a very nervous man and he’s not able to give any coherent account or explanation as to what he was doing in the early hours of that morning, and why he went into that property and took the items he did,” added Mr Standfast.

He said Ansari Beni, who was dressed in a smart, navy blazer and sobbed throughout the hearing, had no previous convictions for burglary and came from a stable family background, although he had serious driving offences to his name.

“He’s in the final year of university studying for a degree in IT and he works in a local computer shop,” added the defence counsel.

Judge Paul Batty QC said although he accepted the burglary was out of character for Ansari Beni, he had no option but to jail him because the incident had had a “very considerable” effect on the victims