Raiders terrorised Burnley man in his own home - then stole his Audi (From Burnley and Pendle Citizen)
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Raiders terrorised Burnley man in his own home - then stole his Audi
9:00pm Saturday 9th March 2013 in News
A GANG of knife raiders who terrorised a man in his Burnley home - before driving off in his Audi A4 with his belongings - have been jailed for a total of more than 27 years.
Burnley Crown Court heard how "entirely defenceless" and petrified Louis Steyn feared for his life at the hands of the gang which included two young women.
He was gagged, beaten up, had his hands and feet tied together and was subjected to gratuitous degradation during the ordeal last October 25.
He pleaded with one ringleader not to stab him as a six inch boning knife was held threateningly in front of his face.
Three men and two women got into his house in a quiet cul-de-sac, started drinking alcohol, before demanding his car keys and ransacking the property.
Three of the gang were armed with knives.
Sally Brennand, 19, of Coal Clough Lane; John Williams, 20, of Elizabeth Street, who was on licence for robbery at the time; Rebecca Greenough, 19, of Brownhill Avenue; David Steer, 26, of Labour Street, all in Burnley; and Zak Ward, 25, of Richmond Walk, Radcliffe, all admitted robbery.
Steer was at the wheel of the car when it was later stopped by a police stinger after clocking up 100mph in Blackpool.
He was over the limit and also pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, driving with excess alcohol and no insurance.
The two women had no previous convictions while the men had criminal records.
Williams and Steer were each locked up for seven years and four months, Ward was given seven years, Brennand received three years and four months in detention and Greenough got detention of two years 10 months. Steer was banned for 16 months.
Amanda Johnson, prosecuting, said at 7.30pm, Mr Steyn, 42, of Chestnut Rise, was watching television when Williams knocked on his door, asking if he could come in for a drink.
The victim refused and Steer then appeared, making the same request.
Mr Steyn refused, but they pushed their way in, shouting to others: "The party's here."
All five defendants entered and made themselves comfortable in the lounge.
They started drinking a watching television and refused to leave for an hour.
Miss Johnson said Steer went up to Mr Steyn and punched him in the face, knocking him to the floor and hitting and kicking him.
Steer demanded Mr Steyn's car keys and the victim said they were upstairs.
One defendant found the keys and Mr Steyn was ordered to kneel down and put his hands behind his head.
Williams then appeared in front of the victim, holding a six inch boning knife in front of his face.
Mr Steyn pleaded: "Please don't stab me, take what you want."
Others were ransacking the house and gathering up computer equipment, monitors, DVDs and other electrical items, which were being loaded into the Audi.
Brennand had armed herself with a vegetable knife and was standing in the doorway.
Steer tied Mr Steyn’s hands and feet together with computer cable and Ward punched him in the eye.
Unable to start his £26,000 car, Mr Steyn offered to help and as he shuffled to the front door, a cloth was fastened around his mouth and tied round his head.
Miss Johnson said Mr Steyn's legs were cut free, he was dragged to the car and it was started.
Miss Johnson said: "Mr Steyn feared for his life, thinking he was going to be stabbed by Zak Ward."
Ward told the victim: "Give it 10 minutes. I will call the police. I'm sorry. I never wanted anything anything to do with this. Tell the police I didn't steal anything."
The prosecutor said a police officer found Mr Steyn with his hands still tied. He had suffered facial injuries, was bleeding and was in shock. He needed nine stitches to eye injuries.
The prosecutor said in his personal victim statement, Mr Steyn said since the offence his life had completely changed.
He was afraid at home, his sleep had been disturbed, he felt stressed and he had been left scarred.
Williams had 47 offences on his record, Ward had 18 previous offences and Steer had committed 29 previous offences.
Sentencing, Recorder William T C Smith said: "The whole incident was a terrifying one for the victim. He was fortunate to have suffered relatively modest physical injuries, but he has, no doubt, the psychological scars that remain with him."
Speaking after the case, Sophie Lorimer, senior crown prosecutor from CPS North West said: “This was an extremely violent, pre-planned attack.
“The gang outnumbered the victim and targeted him when he was alone in his own home.
“Two of the men who carried out the robbery were purported friends of the victim.
“The sentences given reflect the serious nature of this appalling crime.”