A SLEEPING couple had the shock of their lives when a motorcyclist clipped a parked car outside their home and crashed his bike through their living room window.

Both the rider and the stolen Yamaha ended up in the front room of Joy and Doug Shaw's home. Amazingly, the biker survived the impact and ran off.

But he did not get very far as an off-duty policeman, who had heard the squeal of tyres from his home in nearby Lichfield Avenue, went to investigate and arrested the rider after recognising him as a suspected burglar.

The accident wrecked the couple's TV, beloved ornaments and other items in their Keynsham Avenue home.

Speaking exclusively to the Guardian, Mrs Shaw, a pensioner who is currently recovering from spinal surgery, said: "Horrendous is not the word.

"I'm traumatised and it looks like someone has gone round with a baseball bat. The whole room is destroyed."

A cab driver also spotted the hapless rider trying to flee on foot along Chingford Lane, after dumping his helmet and bike gear in the forest.

A police spokeswoman said: "The suspect, age 23, was found a short distance away and arrested on suspicion of stealing the motorbike. He remains at Whipps Cross Hospital at this stage with minor injuries."

Jim Maloney and his partner Melissa Crowhurst, who live next door to the Shaws, said they woke to an "almighty bang" at 1.15 am on Tuesday, February 19. The motorcyclist had also hit Miss Crowhurst's mother's car, which had been parked in the road.

The crash is the latest in a spate of accidents along the road in Woodford Green, including one six months ago when a car crashed into the forest and caught fire.

Mr Maloney and Miss Crowhurst have also had to re-build their front wall twice since 2003 as a result of road accidents.

Miss Crowhurst said: "People drive like maniacs around here, and it's only a matter of time before someone gets killed."