A PROLIFIC thief left an elderly victim "scared" to sleep in her own home after he crept into her house in an early morning raid.

Daniel Clouder admitted 20 counts of theft and two dwelling burglaries when his reign of stealing was finally bought to an end by officers.

In the most traumatic episode for one of his victims, the 21-year-old, who prior to his hearing in Southampton Crown Court had more than 50 previous convictions for thefts, slipped into the home of 88-year-old Marjorie Ramone as she slept.

Prosecutor Daniel Sawyer told the court that Clouder, and another unknown thief, went into the property at around 4.20am before making off with her handbags.

He said: "When she woke she heard people outside her bedroom.

"She heard a noise and went out and saw a person's arm grab her two handbags.

"She called out 'who's there?' and the burglars then went out of the house. By the time she got downstairs, she has to use a chairlift to get downstairs, they were gone."

Outside some of Ms Ramone's belongings were found but her mobile phone and £300 cash had been taken.

In a victim statement, she said: "I can't stop thinking about the man in my bedroom that night and seeing him.

"It has left me scared and I feel very vulnerable and scared knowing that someone was in my house.

"I have lived in this house since 1959 and on my own here for 19-years."

Clouder was under investigation for another burglary, on Coxford Close. This time the owners returned back to find the kitchen doors had been smashed in with a mallet.

His DNA was found on the mallet, which led to him being caught.

In his first interview he denied both burglaries but later confessed to the crimes.

Mr Sawyer said that Clouder then went on a drive with police to tell them which other homes he had targeted.

Berenice Mulvanny, mitigating, told the court that Clouder had an addiction to cannabis and cocaine which led him to carry out the thefts.

He also suffered with ADHD and anxiety.

She added that since his confession he has begun meeting with his victims to help them get closure.

Clouder, of York Close, Northam, pleaded guilty to the thefts and was sentenced to 28 months imprisonment.