A great-grandfather battling cancer has blasted a thief for stealing from him as he slept in the next room.
Michael Hiley, who has been diagnosed with brain cancer, had personal items and medication stolen during a break-in at his flat on Wykeham Chase on the Weston estate on Saturday night.
The burglar, Michael King, 33, ransacked the property as the 76-year-old widower slept just yards away, Macclesfield Magistrates’ Court heard.
He was caught red-handed by police the following day trying to sell the stolen property, the court was told.
King, of Waldon Road, Ivy Farm estate, was warned that he faced a prison sentence, after pleading guilty to the burglary on Monday.
The crime has left Mr Hiley shocked and angry.
He told the Express: “I am 76 years old and this is the first time I have been burgled.
“It’s a sickening feeling that someone has been riffling through your stuff, that they feel they can just climb through your window and take what they want. It’s very upsetting.”
Mr Hiley has lived at Wykeham Chase, a sheltered housing complex, for three years.
He previously lived at Briarwood Drive, his home for almost 50 years, after moving to Macclesfield with his wife Madeline, who died suddenly of a brain haemorrhage in 1985.
Mr Hiley worked on the railways for more than 20 years doing various roles.
A watch he wore during his years as a ticket inspector was one of the items stolen during the burglary.
On Monday, Macclesfield Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Hiley was sleeping when King entered the property through an open window.
Kate Marchuk, prosecuting, said: “At 1am, the defendant entered a house belonging to a 76-year-old man who was in bed asleep at the time. He gained access via the front living room window.
“Inside he stole a watch, shaver and medication.
“The victim woke to find the items taken and reported it to police.
“At 10.30am, police stopped the defendant to speak to him on an unrelated matter.
“He was carrying items in a carrier bag. After officers had let him leave they received the call about the burglary and traced the defendant who still had the carrier bag with him.
“Inside were two watches, a camera and a spectacles case, which the victim didn’t realise had also been taken.
“During police interview, King admitted climbing into the house and removing a wind chime to avoid detection.
“He took items from the living room and planned to sell them to fund his drug habit. He uses six or seven bags of heroin a day and as much crack cocaine as he can get.”
Ruth Oakes, defending, said King was likely to face prison.
She said: “This is a third strike burglary so it is very likely he will receive a prison sentence.
“It’s unfortunate that he has started using drugs again and these offences are funding his addiction.”
King was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday, August 27.
All the items stolen have been returned to Mr Hiley.