Police praise actions of Sheffield student who helped put hammer-wielding burglar behind bars

Police have praised the actions of a Sheffield student who chased a hammer-wielding burglar and helped put him behind bars.   

Darren Smith, 53, of Burgoyne Road, was sentenced to 12 years in prison after being found guilty of aggravated burglary following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court. 

Darren Smith

Darren Smith

Smith had pleaded not guilty to the offence, which happened in June.

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In the early hours of Monday, June 4 2018, Smith entered a student house on Mona Road in the Crookes area, armed with a claw hammer.

One of the occupants, a 23-year-old student, heard him enter the property and went to investigate.

Upon doing so he disturbed Smith and instinctively tried to grab him.

Smith then attempted to strike the victim with the hammer and, after a short struggle, managed to escape and fled the house.

Despite suffering minor injuries, the victim pursued with him on foot for several hundred yards.

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Investigating Officer Detective Constable Mike Fordham said this was an important detail in the case. 

“Were it not for this young man’s bravery in pursuing Smith, I would not have had an opportunity to gather key evidence, including CCTV footage, which led to the offender’s identification and ultimately his conviction. 

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“It is thanks to the victim’s actions that we have been able to put Smith behind bars, where he belongs, to protect the public for many years to come. 

“I would like to offer my personal thanks to him, he can be very proud of himself. This is my last result before I retire and I am extremely satisfied with the sentence Smith has received.”