Radio star Matt Cooper tells of his family's terror as burglar with knife invades home
BROADCASTER Matt Cooper has revealed that a knife-wielding burglar broke into his home, terrifying him and his family.
Mr Cooper was at home with his wife Aileen and five children when an intruder broke in through the front door and roamed through the house searching for valuables.
Shockingly, Aileen woke to find the man standing in the doorway of their bedroom with a knife in his hand.
Mr Cooper said that he didn't sleep properly for months afterwards. He added that now when he's woken by a noise at night he searches the house with a "baseball bat in hand".
On the morning of the break-in he said that he and his wife were woken by the sound of breaking glass.
However, they assumed it was one of the children dropping a glass in the kitchen and went back to sleep, but he was shaken awake a short time later by Aileen, who said: "Matt there's a man at the door."
"I thought she meant the front door, as I groggily woke and got up from the bed not quite believing her when she emphasised she meant the bedroom door and that he was on his way down the stairs.
"I believed it as soon as I was halfway down the stairs and saw the front door was open and that there were muddy footprints all over the carpet."
He saw that cupboard doors were open and rushed to check that his children were OK.
"Thankfully, they were," he added.
The Today FM presenter said it was "embarrassing" how easy it was for the burglar to get into the house.
The intruder had broken a glass panel beside the front door and let himself in as it wasn't doubled locked.
He said that he didn't Chubb lock the front door because he was afraid the family couldn't leave the house quickly in an emergency. However, now the door is always double-locked at night and the burglar alarm is switched on.
"Neither Aileen nor I slept properly for months afterwards. On many occasions noises have caused me to sit bolt upright in the bed, heart racing," he wrote in today's Irish Daily Mail.
He said he's "wondered many times" what would have happened if he had woken up instead of his wife when the intruder was there.
The incident, which was investigated by gardai, took place at about 6:40am on a Friday last December.
Mr Cooper said that "they have a fairly good idea of who they think was responsible" - a drug addict suspected of a series of break-ins. However, he said "they held out no real hope of bringing him to justice".
He also raised questions about the under-resourcing of the gardai and said they were often tied up with paperwork that could be done by civilians.