Yorkshire couple forced to sell house after terrifying attack by armed intruders
Bradford Crown Court has learned that a couple who were assaulted at their home in Low Moor, Bradford, by Mark Hall and his accomplice were badly affected by the aggravated burglary and subsequently sold their property.
The court heard that another 70-year-old couple, who had suffered a similar attack three weeks earlier, feared for their lives.
Hall, 50, of Hydale Court, Low Moor, Bradford, was granted a three-year extended license period in addition to his 14-year prison sentence after recorder Kama Melly QC said he posed a significant risk to members of the public.
In early December 2018, Hall and another man carried out a planned robbery at the home of the elderly couple after both covering their faces.
As they approached the house, one of the men said “It’s okay, he’s just an old ******” before forcing through and the male occupant, who had mobility impaired due to an operation, was struck to the ground. .
Prosecutor Eddison Flint said the men demanded money, asked about a safe and threatened to shoot the man if he did not cooperate.
When the housekeeper entered the kitchen she was asked for money, but the couple eventually fled with just £ 60 from the man’s wallet and loose change in a jar.
The court heard that two neighbors bravely picked up gardening tools to take on the thieves and that after a fight, Hall left a training shoe at the scene and a DNA match would later link him to the crime.
In her statement after the attack, the man’s wife said she had never been so afraid in her whole life and was afraid for her life and that of her husband.
“I feel like it’s going to take us a long time to get over this,” she said.
Just three weeks later, Hall, still with another man, targeted another couple’s house on Low Moor, but this time they were armed with a baseball bat and crowbar. .
Mr Flint said the male owner was hit with the bat when he came out to investigate a noise and was then hit again by the man holding the crowbar.
The assailants were asking for money and when the victim’s wife fell on the scene, she was screaming.
The couple managed to get behind a door that had remained closed as the attackers attempted to open it, but the men eventually fled empty-handed.
As a result of the violence, the victim suffered serious shoulder injuries as well as headaches, depression and flashbacks.
He said he was unable to work or drive and sat at night watching CCTV equipment at his home.
Mr Flint said the couple couldn’t stay in the family home and had to sell and move out.
The former drug addict Hall was jailed for a theft in 2008, but the court heard he then got free from the drugs and avoided trouble for a decade.
In 2018, he became addicted to alcohol and relapsed into delinquency. Recorder Melly said the breaches demonstrated Hall’s willingness to become involved in the use of gratuitous violence against innocent members of the public who were simply at home going about their own business until the The accused decides he needed the money from them.
Recorder Melly said victims of the second attack saw their lives “irreparably damaged”.
Hall was convicted by a jury of the charges of robbery and aggravated burglary, but the court heard he had now accepted responsibility for the crimes.
After imprisoning Hall, Recorder Melly awarded £ 100 to each of the two neighbors who confronted the thieves in the first attack.
She said they put themselves in danger and their efforts helped bring Hall to justice.