Two burglars who forced entry to a woman's flat and held her hostage while trying to escape police surrounding the building were yesterday given jail terms. Leung Hung-on and Lai Kai-man, both 36, were arrested at the home of Joanne Toothill after she phoned her boss, James Higgins, and asked him for help in English, a language the burglars did not understand. Mr Higgins in turn alerted police. At the District Court yesterday, Judge Chua Fi-lan berated Leung and Lai for holding an innocent person hostage. The court heard police on patrol in Central on June 26 last year saw the two men climbing pipes outside Goodview Court, in Tai Ping Shan Street, and called for reinforcements. Alarmed by the police presence, Leung and Lai, who had broken into two flats and stolen jewellery, rang Ms Toothill's doorbell before forcing their way into her flat. Leung asked Ms Toothill for some clothes and told her to make up a story of how they had met if police came to her door. However, Ms Toothill managed to telephone Mr Higgins and say in English that she was being detained against her will. Mr Higgins alerted police, who broke into Ms Toothill's home and arrested the burglars. Leung, who denied one count of burglary and one of false imprisonment, was jailed for 3.5 years. Lai, who pleaded guilty to both charges, was jailed for two years, four months. Lai was further sentenced to a separate term of eight months' jail after admitting a burglary in Mongkok on February 5, while on bail for the Goodview Court offence, before the same judge yesterday.