Ashington couple 'living in fear' after masked raiders break into house twice in a few days

From left: Jake Murray, Jordan Caldow and Robert Smith have all been jailed. Credit: NCJ Media

A couple were left terrified after masked raiders burst into their home twice in the space of a few days.

The man and woman were left living in fear after they were attacked and threatened in their property in Ashington, Northumberland.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the first offence happened just after midnight, when three masked men rushed in, demanding money.

Prosecutors said Robert Smith threatened to kill their barking dog if it was not quiet.

Smith and Jordan Caldow then assaulted the man, pushing him in the passageway and kicking him on the floor. Demands were made to be told where money or drugs were in the house.

Jake Murray was going through drawers while the assault on the man continued, with Smith hitting him in the face with a metal bar. When his partner expressed concern for him, Caldow laughed and said 'he's out cold him man', the court heard.

He was unconscious and as he began to come round, he was told to keep his partner quiet or he would be stabbed. Murray then tried to grab the woman's phone and punched her in the face until she let go of it. The court heard she was terrified and did not know if her partner had been killed.

Among the items stolen were a phone, tablet and jewellery.

The man was left with an injury to his eye and had to attend hospital while the woman suffered bruising and reddening to her face.

The three intruders left and police were called but then a couple of days later Smith and Murray returned, along with another man, breaking in at 3:45am while the victims were in bed.

After bursting into their bedroom, the men demanded money and started going through drawers and threatened to kidnap their dog.

They tried to steal a TV and Smith made threats to come back if they called police. The male victim later noticed his Nike trainers were missing and when Murray was arrested, he was wearing them.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said: "It made me feel afraid for my safety and I don't want to leave my house. I feel they are going to keep coming back until they are caught and cause a serious injury. I no longer want to live in my address, which I love."

Her partner added: "I'm very scared for me and my girlfriend. I don't want to leave the house or stay in. I've never felt like this before."

Smith, 28, of Blyth Terrace, Ashington, who has 23 previous convictions, including serious violence, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm on the man, theft and burglary. He was jailed for 80 months.

Caldow, 29, of Barnston, Ashington, who has 21 previous convictions, including GBH with intent when he deliberately drove into someone, admitted assaulting the man and theft and was jailed for 46 months.

Murray, 24, of no fixed address, who has four previous convictions, admitted assaulting the woman, theft and burglary and was locked up for 69 months.

Penny Hall, for Smith, said it was "clearly to do with drugs", said he remorseful and has mental health issues.

The court heard Caldow is "deeply remorseful for the shame he has brought on his family again", while Murray's barrister said it was "very much a one-off incident".

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