5:04pm Thursday 6th December 2012
By Neil Hunter
A BURGLAR who got a rude awakening when he was tackled by a naked man as he snooped around his home was today jailed for four years.
Delroy Daley came off worse in his clash with nude Tom Best when they traded blows in the hallway of the bar manager's Middlesbrough flat.
The 34-year-old intruder was left cut and bruised and covered in blood after Mr Best, 22, ran at him and rugby-tackled him to the floor.
Mr Best pinned drug addict Daley down and detained him with the help of a neighbour until police arrived on the scene in the Longlands area.
Teesside Crown Court heard how his girlfriend - five-and-a-half months pregnant - and her two nieces were in the flat at the time of the raid.
The neighbour joined have-a-go hero Mr Best after hearing the screams of the girls and his frantic 31-year-old partner Nicola McNaughton.
Daley - who has 77 offences on his record which includes a string of burglaries - was told by a judge he had left his victims traumatised.
During the struggle, the raider was said to have threatened to stab Mr Best with a screwdriver, but he denied having one and none was found.
His barrister, Christopher Knox, told the court that Daley did not intend to harm anyone and breaking in was a spur of the moment thing.
He said after getting inside, Daley saw one of the young girls asleep on a sofa in the lounge and was leaving when he was tackled.
Mr Best was woken at 2am when sensor lights in the hall came on and the intruder clumsily made a noise when he tripped over some steps.
Daley later told police that he froze when the home-owner ran at him, and said: "Before I knew it, I was covered in blood."
Mr Knox told Judge Simon Bourne-Arton: "In the struggle that took place, the reality is he came off worse.
"He accepts there was a struggle with the householder and accepts he would have been terrified, confronting someone in his home at night."
Daley, of Daleville Close, Middlesbrough, who admitted burglary, was told by the judge: "This is a bad case and you know it is bad.
"It was a burglary committed at night when the occupants were asleep, they were disturbed and a struggle ensued.
"Although you may not have got the better of that struggle, you were quite prepared to get into it. You have a very, very bad record.
"You were full of drugs. There was no thought process, no thought of the impact or misery you cause to those whose home you went into."
Miss McNaughton told of her fears for the unborn baby, and described it as "the singularly most terrifying incident I've been involved in".
Mr Best said: "I was concerned with my girlfriend being five-and-a-half months pregnant and that the kids were in the living room."
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