Norwich burglar confronted by homeowner with samurai sword

A judge praised the actions of a man who grabbed a samurai sword to bravely confront a burglar he caught red-handed ransacking his home.

Shaun Everett found burglar Darren Ding, 33, rummaging through his personal belongings at his home in Low Road, Keswick, after he was alerted to the break-in by a silent alarm which sent a signal to his mobile phone.

Norwich Crown Court heard how Mr Everett was involved in a struggle with Ding, who was wearing a crash helmet, and Mr Everett grabbed an ornamental sword from the wall, which he did not use, but hoped would be enough to subdue Ding until police arrived to arrest him.

Ding, left, managed to disarm Mr Everett and then used the sheath of the sword to hit Mr Everett over the head causing a gash, which needed seven stitches and has left a scar.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said that despite being injured and bleeding Mr Everett continued to struggle with the burglar, pulling his jacket over his head and removing his crash helmet, but Ding still managed to escape.

Ding, of Suncroft, Lakenham, admitted causing actual bodily harm to Mr Everett, burglary and theft of a moped. He was also in breach of a suspended sentence. The court heard Ding had a number of previous convictions including for robbery.

Jailing him for four years, Judge Peter Jacobs said: 'This was a very serious burglary. You were ransacking this man's house.'

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He said that Mr Everett had shown bravery in turning up to confront Ding and said: 'He showed a tremendous amount of courage in tackling this man who was ransacking his home.'

He added: 'He deserves the praise of the whole community for having the courage to do so.'

Jonathon Morgans, for Ding, said he was remorseful and needed money to pay a drugs debt. He had panicked after he was confronted. 'He accepts that if he burgles someone's home he gets all he deserves. Ding knows that once he is in someone's home he can expect the sort of treatment he got.'

He added that Ding planned to move away from the area on his release so he could make a clean start.