TWO armed robbers who subjected a young mum to a terrifying attack in her own home as her baby played close by have been handed long jail sentences.
Jamie Dalton and Matthew Harfield burst into the family house brandishing an imitation firearm and threatened to shoot Louise Henning as they ransacked the property for money.
Southampton Crown Court heard that the nurse had clumps of hair pulled out and teeth loosened in the vicious attack by Dalton, while her 11-month-old son was playing with his toys just yards away.
Both men had denied aggravated burglary and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence but a jury found them guilty last month.
Yesterday Dalton, 21, of Kingsdown Way, Southampton and Harfield, 35, of no fixed address, were both sent to prison for the “planned” burglary in Testwood Road, Totton , during which they got away with £2,000 in cash. Judge Derwin Hope ruled that Dalton played the dominant role in the burglary and taking into consideration his “shocking” and violent criminal record, he believed Dalton was a danger to the public.
He gave Dalton a more serious indeterminate sentence with a recommendation he serve at least seven years before he can be considered for release.
Harfield was jailed for 12 years but will end up serving less total time than Dalton.
Judge Hope told the pair: “You forced your way into her property and subjected her to the most horrific ordeal to such an extent that she became paralysed by fear. I am quite sure that Mrs Henning will not forget this event for the rest of her life and will be permanently affected by it.”
After the sentencing Det Sgt Fiona Bitters, senior investigating officer in the case, said: “Without the help of the public, particularly the community in Totton, we may not have had this outcome. “I’d like to thank those who came forward, helping to put two dangerous men behind bars and restore some peace of mind to the victims who were deeply distressed by the events of February 22.
“This was a despicable premeditated crime carried out with no regard to the fact that a small child was present. The sentence given to these men reflects the seriousness of the crime.”