Burglars threatened to kill newborn baby in 'terrifying' daylight house raid
Burglars threatened to kill a family's newborn baby if they didn't hand over gold in a "terrifying" house raid.
The men burst into the family's Wrexham home in broad daylight before coming face to face with the homeowner who was clutching her baby girl.
One of the burglars snatched the baby from her hands while they grabbed jewellery the victim was wearing, including her wedding ring.
The victim, who had undergone a caesarean section just eight weeks prior to the raid, was also punched in the abdomen.They threatened to kill her baby if she did not say where her gold was stored, Mold Crown Court heard on Tuesday. She pointed to a jewellery box before the men took the contents and fled.
John Price, 22, of no fixed abode, admitted conspiring to commit robbery and assisting an offender by impeding apprehension.
Scott Powell, 23, of Y Wern in Wrexham, who helped move the getaway vehicle, admitted the same charges.
Patrick Flynn, 19, of Station Court in Gwersyllt, admitted a charge of conspiring to commit robbery.
Prosecuting, Simon Mintz told the court how the group had planned to strike at a house in Wrexham.
Days before, they had scouted out the property in a white van before pulling up just before 2.30pm in September 2020 in a black Volkswagen vehicle, bearing cloned number plates.
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...
The men, donning surgical masks and dark clothes, believed they were in an empty house when they smashed their way in through the glass patio doors.
However, minutes after their arrival they were "shocked" to come face-to-face the victim on the landing clutching her baby girl.
Mr Mintz said they were "not deterred by her presence" and instead piled in to snatch the jewellery she was wearing at the time. One burglar then ripped the baby from her mother's arms.
One burglar, pointing what the victim believed was a screwdriver at her, demanded "where's the gold?". They said they would kill the baby if she didn't tell them where to look, the court heard.
The terrified mother "begged" them not to hurt her child as she pointed them towards a jewellery box. They swiped the contents before escaping, leaving the battered and bruised mum-of-two to alert the police.
In a victim impact statement taken in April 2022, the victim described feeling "persistent anxiety and insomnia". She now does not wear jewellery and has only been able to return to her work as a pharmacist part-time since the incident.
'An appalling and extremely serious crime'
An investigation found "various items" belonging to the family at Powell's home, said Mr Mintz. Police also found clothing that linked Flynn to the raid and discovered that the gang tried to hide the black Volkswagen at a different address to "throw the police off".
In the days that followed, the court also heard that Flynn had called his older brother, who is currently in prison for his role in the crime, talking about the robbery. These had been recorded and heard him say: "I'm caught, aren't I? I'm getting years."
Judge Parry branded the raid an "appalling and extremely serious crime" that left the victim with "severe psychological harm". He was of no doubt that jail time would be the only justifiable punishment.
He said: "This was a pre-planned attack on a property where you knew an Asian family lived. Because of that, you believed that gold would be kept there.
"Rather than leave after being confronted with a lone female and her two-month-old baby, you called out for each other and charged her. You ripped a necklace from her neck and her wedding ring from her finger and brandished a weapon as she held onto her baby."
Price was jailed for seven and a half years. Flynn was handed six years and two months whilst Powell was given one year and nine months.