Armed burglar’s victim puts his life on the line to pin him down

Henry Ikose outside his home where he caught the burglar

Henry Ikose outside his home where he caught the burglar - Credit: Archant

The victim of an armed burglar put his life on the line by pinning him down until police arrived.

Junior Thomas was armed with a knife when he forced open the door to get into Henry Ikose’s house in Horton Road, London Fields.

Mr Ikose, 46, was brushing his teeth unaware in his bathroom when he heard the loud bang on March 20 this year.

Thomas stole a Toshiba laptop from the lounge before sneaking into a bedroom to take jewellery.

Mr Ikose came downstairs, to find the front door was open, and as he turned around he came face to face with Thomas.

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“It was a very traumatic time, I asked him: ‘What are you doing here?’,” said Mr Ikose, who ran outside and locked Thomas inside, before having second thoughts and re-entering to tackle the intruder.

“I came in again because he was also confused and didn’t expect to see somebody,” said Mr Ikose.

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“I did it because I was in a very stressful state, I did not think about the danger that would be coming, I just did it because we have been a victim of burglary three times.

“He said three times he was going to stab me and he tried to put his hand in his pocket, but I jumped on him like a cat.”

A struggle ensued between the pair which eventually spilled outside onto the pavement.

“He was a big strong man, I was shouting, ‘burglar, burglar please help, call the police’,” said Mr Ikose.

Neighbours helped Mr Ikose restrain Thomas until police arrived.

Thomas, 43, who is unemployed and of no fixed address, was found guilty of aggravated burglary and was sentenced to seven years and three months imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court on October 2.

An offence of burglary with intent to steal and another of possessing an article with a blade or point in a public place were left to lie on file.

Det Con Azad Odabashian, from Hackney’s community safety unit, said afterwards the lengthy sentence was made possible by the “bravery” of Mr Ikose and his neighbours.

Mr Ikose told the Gazette: “It’s had a lasting traumatic impact, I have scars on my legs, painful memories still come up.

“It’s had a lasting traumatic impact, I have scars on my legs, painful memories still come up.”

But he insisted he would do the same thing if it happened again: “It’s very bad for someone to become a career burglar, everyone has to struggle in life and we all have hurdles to jump over.

“You benefit if you are a kind hard-working person despite the challenges, work brings happiness, it’s part of sustainability.

“Being a career burglar is not a job, it’s just a waste of time, you are just causing more pain to yourself and wasting your life in jail for nothing. He will have lost seven years, he will be far behind when he gets out.”

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