A man was sentenced after bystanders apprehended him burgling an elderly woman's Weybridge home.

Appearing at Kingston Crown Court on Tuesday, May 28, James Anthony Hall entered a guilty plea and was handed a five year, three month custodial sentence.

Surrey Police described him as a "prolific" burglar and recounted the dramatic fashion he was detained with the help of residents when he attempted to burgle the home of an elderly woman in Weybridge last month.

"On the morning of Saturday, April 6, the elderly victim returned home and heard footsteps upstairs. Leaving the premises and locking the door behind her, the resident turned to her neighbour and a workman for help.

"The pair entered and saw a man, later identified as James Anthony Hall, 43, of Margaret Lockwood Close, Kingston, coming down the stairs with a screwdriver raised above his head.

"One of the men and a passer-by restrained him while the neighbour called 999.

"Police arrived four minutes after the call was received and arrested Hall on suspicion of aggravated burglary before taking him into custody. Items of jewellery were found in the back pocket of Hall’s trousers."

Investigating officer, PC Dave Baldwin of Elmbridge Neighbourhood Patrol Team, heaped praise on the people involved in initially detaining Mr Hall before the police arrived.

He added that he hoped the jail sentence handed down to Mr Hall would reassure residents.

"We know that burglary can be a traumatic and upsetting crime for victims so we hope that Hall’s his sentence goes some way to reassuring residents that burglary is taken incredibly seriously.

"I would also like to thank the neighbour, plumber and passer-by who managed to detain Hall and call 999, which ensured his swift arrest and ultimately brought to justice," PC Baldwin said.

Surrey Police have issued advice on keeping your home safe and secure, available on their website: www.surrey.police.uk/burglary