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Burglar who strangled woman into silence during break-in jailed for six years

A burglar who strangled a woman into silence after she caught him in her house has been jailed for six years.

Finbar Shirley, 24, of Meadow Close in Bridge, told officers he liked to see how others lived.

Finbar Shirley was arrested on the day of the attack Credit: Kent Police

He admitted to climbing through an open window at the woman’s house in the High Street on June 4th 2017. He was arrested later the same day.

The court heard how once inside the property he looked around the bedroom, took of his shoes and sat down on the bed.

When the victim went upstairs to use the bathroom during the early hours of the morning she saw the stranger’s legs hanging off the end of her bed.

When she entered the room, he grabbed her neck and squeezed as hard as he could in order to silence her from alerting the rest of the house.

The woman passed out and it was only when her husband came upstairs and saw her laying on the floor that Shirley calmly walked away down the stairs and out of the house.

The incident was reported to Kent Police, Shirley was identified and subsequently arrested.

He admitted to burglary and assault and was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on Friday 19 January.

Investigating officer DC Steve Day said: ‘This is a particularly disturbing case that left the victim and her family absolutely terrified:

Shirley had taken an unhealthy interest in the house and then calmly attacked the woman without hesitation when he thought he would get caught.

‘He hadn’t taken anything but had looked around and then simply sat down on the bed. When the victim came upstairs she was strangled until she passed out. Luckily her husband found her in time, otherwise the outcome could have been a lot worse.

‘Shirley is clearly a significant risk to the public and the victim and her family will no doubt suffer the emotional effects of his attack for some time. He’ll now serve time in prison for his behaviour.’

– DC Steve Day