A PAIR of knife-wielding robbers, who tied up a retired couple and threatened them with their own loaded shotgun, have been jailed for a total of 16-and-a-half years – with a third man who was behind the terrifying raid sent down for a further 13 years.
Derby Crown Court heard on Monday that the couple were left ‘traumatised’ by the attack at their home in Stanley, where they had lived for 37 years, during which robber Alec Brady punched the 65-year-old husband in the face, knocking several teeth out.
Brady, 24, and accomplice Charlotte Southall, 24, made off with thousands of pounds of jewellery and two shotguns.
During the course of the investigation it became clear that Jason Black, who drove the getaway car on January 9 last year, was the orchestrator of the robbery.
He was caged for 13 years, while Brady received a nine-and-a-half year sentence and Southall was jailed for seven years.
Passing sentence, recorder David Mason said the couple were ‘deeply traumatised by what happened to them’.
Stephen Kemp, prosecuting, explained that the couple had been watching TV at their Derby Road home and had gone to wash up in the kitchen.
At about 11pm the kitchen door was smashed in by Brady and Southall, both wearing masks and armed with knives.
Brady immediately punched the husband in the face and screamed at them to lie on the floor, before tying their hands and feet together and demanding to know where cash and jewellery was kept.
“They believed their best option was to co-operate with the robbers,” said Mr Kemp.
Brady found 1,000 Euros, which the couple were about to use for a holiday, and £170 from a handbag and a wallet.
“They might have mis-identified the actual property,” explained Mr Kemp.
“They were told there was £20,000 in the house.
“The couple pointed out they were pensioners and didn’t keep money like that in the house at all.”
Brady spotted a leather gun belt and demanded to know where the gun was.
He found the 12-bore shotgun in the loft, loaded it and handed it to Southall.
Mr Kemp said: “He told them she would shoot their legs off if they attempted to escape.”
After finding a bank card, Brady forced the couple to give their pin number and the robbers left, saying they would find a cash machine and come back.
After waiting a while the couple fled to a neighbour who contacted police.
Brady was in constant contact on his mobile phone with Jason Black during the robbery, who picked them up from the village.
After the trio’s phones were seized it was clear to police that Black had picked out the address and sold on the stolen items within days, sharing the cash with Brady and Southall, who are both crack cocaine addicts.
Brady was arrested the day after the robbery for an unrelated burglary in Derby, from which he stole more than £3,000 of jewellery, and Southall was snared a month later.
They both pleaded guilty, but the court heard Brady had tried to escape from an earlier hearing at Derby Crown Court. He was stopped by a prison guard whose wrist was injured and was forced to take time off work.
When Black was arrested he denied the charges and faced trial at Derby Crown Court where he was found guilty.
In mitigation Simon Clarke, for Black, a father-of-two, of Wood Road, Chaddesden, pointed out he had no criminal record, save for a minor motoring offence.
“It is his 13-year-old son who is going to suffer most as the next five to six years are going to be the most formative,” he said.
For Brady, of no fixed address, Harry Bowyer, said that ‘there was a certain amount of remorse expressed’ in text messages sent after the robbery.
He also asked the judge to take 13 other burglaries into account when passing sentence.
Keith Raynor, for Southall, of no fixed address, said: “She has promised herself and her family she is going to continue to use her time productively so she can come out and show her family and society in general that there’s some good in Charlotte Southall.”