A burglar who barged into the Fulham home of a 90-year-old man before locking him the basement has been jailed.
Thomas McDonagh pushed his way into the house on December 4 last year before tricking the victim into the basement.
However, the pensioner was able to escape and challenge the 45-year-old, forcing him to flee empty-handed.
McDonagh was arrested shortly afterwards and given a four-year prison sentence at Isleworth Crown Court on Wednesday (March 25).
McDonagh knocked on his victim’s door at 12.30pm and said he was a builder looking at a water supply problem.
The pensioner blocked the doorway, so McDonagh placed both his hands on the victim’s chest and pushed him into the hallway before entering the house.
He was told the water supply was in the basement and ordered the victim to go there to check the temperature of the pipes.
The increasingly concerned pensioner did as he was told but, when he tried to leave the basement, found it had been locked from the outside.
The victim was trapped for several minutes before eventually managing to slip the lock and escape from the basement.
Once out he noticed that items of his had been piled near the bottom of the stairs and he saw the burglar hurrying down the stairs.
Callous McDonagh then pinned his victim against a wall, before leaving without his loot.
However, the pensioner chased McDonagh out and called for help. A passer-by heard his shouts and noted the number plate of the white van McDonagh was driving.
At an earlier hearing at the same court, McDonagh, of no fixed abode, admitted to one count of burglary before his sentencing this week.
Officer in the case Detective Constable Andy Griffin, of Hammersmith and Fulham Police, said: “This man preyed on an elderly and vulnerable man and locked the victim up in his own home, it was a despicable crime.
"The victim showed amazing courage during the burglary and I would like to pay tribute to him and those who came to his aid.
“This case highlights the importance of checking who someone is before you open the door and let them get inside your property.”