Gran attack two locked up after terrifying raid

editorial image
Have your say

Two men who subjected an elderly couple to a terrifying robbery ordeal in their Bispham home have both been jailed for eight years.

They dragged their 84-year-old victim out of his bed and grabbed his 79-year-old wife by her neck before dragging her through the hallway at their home on Blackpool Road on February 20.

Anthony Leeming, 22, of Laburnum Street, Blackpool and Shaun McLachlan, 21, of Marina Avenue, Blackpool had both pleaded guilty to the robbery.

The pair escaped with £1,500 cash, as well as three watches and two rings.

Each was carrying a knife and had a hood up at the time they were found in the home.

Paul Brookwell, prosecuting, said the woman went to investigate banging noises and saw the pair in the lounge.

She asked them “What’s going on?” and they told her to hush.

The shorter of the two men grabbed her by the neck and then around the body, dragging her though the hallway.

She banged on her husband’s bedroom door to alert him and then he himself was dragged out of bed by one of the robbers, who warned him “We know there’s money in this house”.

The husband was threatened with a knife but still tried to pull the hood down of one of the offenders.

His wife kept trying to escape, but one of the men kept dragging her back. The telephone land line was ripped out its socket.

The victims were so shaken by what happened that they later turned up at a neighouring home in just their night clothes and with bare feet.

The man was taken to hospital with a suspected heart attack and his health has deteriorated since, while his wife suffers from nightmares.

Leeming’s fingerprint was found inside a window. Veneer from McLachlan’s teeth was discovered in the hallway.

Judith McCullough, for Leeming, said he knew he had carried out “terrible offence” and that a long custody sentence would follow.

She said: “It has come as a great shock to his relatives. His mother can’t believe what her son has become involved in.

“It occured at a time of instability in his life.

“His relationship was rocky, he was drinking to excess and dealing with things in the wrong way”.

Waheed Omran-Baber, for McLachlan, said: “The defendant had continued to say he can’t believe he has done this, that he would have committed such an offence.

“It is something out of character for him. Yes, without a shadow of a doubt he is a burglar, but nothing remotely as serious as this has ever been carried out by him before.”

McLachlan was said to have been going through emotional stress and financial need when the robbery took place. had no money and resorted to drugs.

Judge Andrew Woolman told the pair: “This was a serious invasion of the couple’s privacy where violence was used.

“Altogther, the ordeal for this elderly couple lasted some 20 minutes”.