Homeowner Alexander Ealey chases burglar he finds in his Southborough bedroom
A homeowner chased a burglar out of his house after waking
in the early hours of the morning to find him in his bedroom, a
Alexander Ealey leapt out of bed and grappled with heroin addict
Aiden Cahill (pictured right) while desperately trying to restrain
At one stage Mr Ealey shoulder-charged the prolific burglar
against the front door of his home in Castle Street, Southborough,
before grabbing hold of his clothing.
However, Maidstone Crown Court heard that Cahill managed to
escape Mr Ealey’s clasp by wriggling out of his jumper and
threatening to “do him” if he didn’t let go.
Cahill, of Pennington Road, Tunbridge Wells, was arrested,
however, when police recognised the description given to them by Mr
At the time he was subject to two suspended prison sentences
imposed for two non-dwelling burglaries and an attempted burglary
of a shed.
He was also in breach of an electronically-tagged curfew banning
him from leaving his home between 6pm and 6am.
Cahill admitted burglary with intent to steal on February
But, despite having 23 previous convictions for 52 offences,
including 11 for dwelling burglaries, he did not face the minimum
three-year jail term as it was not his third house break-in since
the so-called “three-strike rule” was introduced in 1999.
Jailing him for two years for the break-in at Mr Ealey’s home
and a further 64 days for the breaches, Mr Justice Nicol said
householders had a right to feel safe in their homes.
Maidstone Crown Court,
where Cahill was sentenced
“It is said frequently that a person’s home is supposed to be
his castle, somewhere they can feel safe and secure. That poor man
must have been feeling anything but safe and secure.”
The High Court judge added that while Mr Ealey had “sufficient
presence of mind” to try and restrain Cahill, the threat “must have
added to the aggravation that he felt”.
Prosecutor Iestyn Morgan told the court that Mr Ealey woke at
5.15am to see Cahill standing by a chest of drawers.
Having confronted Cahill, who claimed to live across the road,
Mr Ealey tried to grab him. Cahill ran towards the stairs and Mr
Ealey gave chase.
“He was able to shoulder charge him against the front door and
both lost their footing,” said Mr Morgan. Both men got up and
Cahill opened the door, only for Mr Ealey to grab him as he went
"It is said frequently that a person’s home is supposed to be his castle, somewhere they can feel safe and secure. That poor man must have been feeling anything but safe and secure" – Mr Justice Nicol
“He grabbed hold of
his jumper but Cahill lifted his arms and effectively wriggled out
of the jumper and got away again.”
Mr Ealey continued to chase Cahill. “He grabbed hold of him and
managed to get him to the floor, holding him down for a few
“The two of them were grappling over the next minute or so.
Cahill was able to get out of more of his clothing that Mr Ealey
was holding on to and said: ‘Get off or I’ll do you.’
“Mr Ealey had hold of one of his arms and Cahill had hold of Mr
Ealey’s neck, trying to push him away.”
It was at this point that Mr Ealey lost his grip and Cahill ran
off towards Pennington Road.
Following his arrest he made no comment but was picked out by Mr
Ealey in an identification procedure.
The court was told that a garden wall was damaged during the
struggle and cost Mr Ealey £200 to have repaired.
Ben Irwin, defending, said that despite Cahill’s very poor
record there had been a significant gap in his offending when he
appeared to have turned his life around.
He attended both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous
and, said Mr Irwin, “became an example” to other addicts.
However in 2010 he again resorted to crime after renewing his
drug addiction and falling into debt.
“He has spent the last three years going backwards and undoing
all that he had done for the past eight-and-a-half years,” said Mr
He added that Cahill’s threat was made in desperation to escape
and not with intent to cause Mr Ealey physical harm.
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