A pregnant woman suffered a miscarriage after she was confronted by a burglar in her home who told her ‘I know what you look like’ before stealing her IVF pills.
Paul Andrews, 26, targeted the victim’s home in Birkenhead, Merseyside, during a crime spree in which he stole sentimental jewellery, cash and cards.
After a later burglary he lead police on a 100mph chase along streets where the limit was 30, telling officers: ‘You’re slow aren’t you? You couldn’t catch me.’
Liverpool Crown Court heard the 26-year-old struck at the house of the pregnant woman and her partner on July 10 this year.
The owner returned home at around 1.25pm and was ‘terrified’ to find Andrews, of Wavertree, Liverpool, in her dining room.
Robert Jones, prosecuting, said the intruder, dressed all in black and wearing a motorcycle helmet, was trying to steal a computer.
Paul Andrews, 26, broke into a couple’s home in Birkenhead, Merseyside, to steal jewellery and other valuables. He told the pregnant owner who discovered him ‘I know what you look like’ before escaping
The victim screamed and he ‘chillingly’ said ‘I know what you look like’ before running upstairs and climbing out of a bedroom window.
He took £1,200 in cash, including foreign currency for a holiday, her Rolex watch and jewellery of ‘immense sentimental value’.
This included her mum’s gold eternity ring, two diamond rings including her engagement ring, plus a Tiffany wedding ring.
Mr Jones said: ‘Perhaps most distressingly of all, the defendant had stolen a box of drugs.
‘It might not have been apparent to the defendant, but the drugs that were taken were in fact for IVF treatment.’
The woman had been undergoing her third cycle of IVF treatment and had to replace the drugs at great expense.
Women who complete IVF treatment and fall pregnant have to continue taking drugs such as progesterone for up to 12 weeks to help thicken the womb lining.
The victim said: ‘I’m convinced that the stress, upset and anxiety caused by this incident contributed directly to me miscarrying my babies, resulting in horrendous emotional distress and pain.’
She told the court she ‘sold everything that the scumbag touched’ and had since sold her home.
Andrews also targeted her neighbours’ property, where a couple also found their home had been ‘trashed’.
He took jewellery, cash and money from children’s purses, which left the family in ‘extreme distress’.
Police recovered Andrews’ DNA from motorcycle helmet padding left outside and the woman picked him out in an identity parade.
Andrews previously stole a Mercedes and a Vauxhall Astra in a burglary at a home in Prescot on March 22.
He also burgled a house in West Derby on July 29 and stole the owner’s white Volkswagen Golf.
The car contained more than £2,000 in cash – proceeds from a business – and was next seen at 1.35am on July 30.
Liverpool Crown Court heard the victim is ‘convinced’ that the stress from the burglary, in which Andrews stole IVF pills and her engagement ring, ‘contributed directly’ to her miscarriage
Police spotted the Golf, now bearing false plates, when it shunted into a vehicle in Birkenhead.
Andrews went through multiple red lights and across junctions, while a passenger threw beer bottles at chasing police.
Why do women take IVF pills after falling pregnant?
Pills containing substances such as progesterone are given to women after falling pregnant through IVF as it helps to thicken the uterine lining.
Progesterone is a naturally occurring hormone in the body produced in the ovaries, the adrenal glands, and in the placenta during pregnancy.
During the egg retrieval process of IVF the cells that would naturally create progesterone after ovulation are also removed.
Women who are going through IVF take progesterone until the placenta is large enough to produce its own – which is usually between nine and 11 weeks.
Source: Your IVF journey
The vehicle reached up to 100mph and police deployed a stinger device to try and stop the car.
But it failed and the pursuing officer drove over the stinger himself, deflating the tyres of his police vehicle.
A force helicopter was deployed and Andrews caught after a struggle, having ditched the car and fled on foot.
He was carrying a small bag containing cocaine, cannabis and a lock knife and bragged about out-driving the officers.
Andrews admitted four counts of burglary, three of theft, dangerous driving and possession of cocaine, cannabis and a blade.
He has previously carried out 15 burglaries on homes, an aggravated burglary and four burglaries at commercial properties.
Stephen Polson, defending, said Andrews, who left school at 15 and has a seven-year-old child, ‘hangs his head in shame’.
He said: ‘Since he was 14 he has spent nine years of his life inside [prison] when you add everything up.’
Judge Anil Murray said Andrews had a ‘terrible’ record and this was effectively his ‘seventh strike’ for burglary.
The judge said he left his victims ‘extremely anxious’ in ‘horrendous distress’ and his driving was ‘shocking’.
He jailed Andrews for five and a half years and banned him from driving for five years and eight months.