When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Armed gang 'threatened family with syringe of HIV infected blood' in Southampton
AN armed gang posing as policemen raided a Southampton home, tying up a family and threatening to stab a dad-of-two with a HIV-infected syringe, a court has heard.
The robbers, who were dressed in police uniforms, burst into the home in Bassett Green Road, handcuffed a husband and wife and threatened to torture their two teenage children.
A jury has been told that despite opening two safes in the house for the gang, the father was shown a syringe with red fluid in it, was told it had “AIDs infected blood inside” and it was pushed into his skin.
Southampton Crown Court heard that a gun was also held to the man’s face as he was told his sons, aged 17 and 15 at the time, would be tortured in front of him if he told the police.
Brothers James and Daniel Plunkett of Perrone Close, Ports-mouth, are accused of being part of the gang of three that carried out the raid on November 5, 2010.
Prosecutor Rob Welling said expensive jewellery, watches and £37,000 in cash was stolen.
HIV threats The court was told the family was initially too terrified to report their ordeal. But detectives, acting on other intelligence, visited them six days later and asked them to make an official complaint.
After several months and further visits from officers they gave formal statements and the court saw a video interview between police and the father of the family.
He described how the gang pretended to be from the police.
He said: “I was shaking like a leaf. I was aware I was being robbed but because they were dressed as policemen it just didn’t compute.
“Nothing made any sense – it was surreal.”
The prosecution told the jury that the man was shown the syringe filled with red fluid after being taken away from his wife and pushed onto the floor of his garage.
Although the needle was pushed into his buttock, its contents were not injected and a red stain was later found nearby.
The prosecution says police searches also uncovered handcuffs, police uniforms, cable ties and a Jacobs and Co watch at the brothers’ home.
The jury was told that they will hear covert recordings taken from a bugged police van in which the brothers discuss the raid.
James Plunkett, 32, and Daniel Plunkett, 27, have pleaded not guilty to aggravated burglary, possessing a firearm without a licence and three counts of false imprisonment.
The trial continues.