SERIAL criminal Rodney Wallace has been jailed for a decade after bursting into a friend's home wearing a balaclava brandishing a hammer.
The 39-year-old was with another masked man who has never been caught when they entered Derek White's home in Coney Hill subjecting him to a terrifying ordeal.
After the jury convicted him, Judge Jamie Tabor QC said: "An Englishman's home is his castle. Every Englishman, every inhabitant of this country who has a home, is entitled to feel secure and safe and comfortable with it, particularly in the early hours of the morning."
Gloucester Crown Court heard the pair carried out the raid only hours after Wallace had seen Mr White and his girlfriend socially.
The jury were told they let themselves into the house using keys and then subjected to a violent ordeal which woke his girlfriend. She rushed from her bedroom to see Mr White grappling with the two masked men and she bravely pulled off Wallace's balaclava to reveal his face.
Wallace, who had 71 previous convictions for offences including kidnap, violence and perverting the course of justice, denied aggravated burglary of Mr White's home on August 31 last year and theft of his phone and computer.
He claimed he had simply taken the other man to the house to buy cannabis and was taken aback when his companion stormed upstairs and attacked Mr White and tried to intervene.
But the jury convicted him after a retirement of just over half an hour.
Prosecuting, Julian Kesner, said in a victim impact statement Mr White had told how he now had sleepless nights and Mr White's girlfriend puts a barricade across the front door of his house when she stays as she does not feel safe.
Andrew Hobson, defending, said Wallac, from East Dulwich, London, is a father of three and his children will suffer as a result of him receiving a long sentence but jailing him, Judge Tabor said: "You and a man you know invaded another man's house, both masked and armed. Mr White saw two balaclava-clad men coming up the stairs at him.
"That is every person's nightmare. It was utterly terrifying."
He added: "The worst aspect of this case was the appalling betrayal of trust of a man who considered you a friend. You have shown no sense of remorse at all and I find that regrettable."