Raid gang left family terrified

Matthew Hibbert
Matthew Hibbert
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A GANG of thugs left a disabled father and his teenage son fearing for their lives in a terrifying attempted robbery at their Sheffield home, a court heard.

Kaine Pratt and Matthew Hibbert, both aged 23, hurled bricks and a paving slab through 50-year-old Alan Senior’s front door on Lister Avenue, Basegreen, while driver Daniel Kennedy, 24, later helped the crooks make a quick getaway.

Daniel Kennedy

Daniel Kennedy

Sheffield Crown Court heard the robbers wrongly believed they could take cannabis from Mr Senior’s home, while Hibbert also claimed to be armed, saying: “Pass me the gun.”

Mr Senior suffered head injuries during the incident last September, as he tried desperately to stop the men forcing his door open.

Prosecutor Amanda Denton said Mr Senior had a “significant heart condition” and was in bed resting before the attempted robbery while his son Oliver, 19, was watching TV in the front room at 6.30pm.

“Oliver heard banging on the front door and went to the window to have a look,” she said. “He saw Hibbert, who asked him to open the door, and ran upstairs to fetch his father.”

Miss Denton said the banging “increased in volume”, and that Mr Senior opened the door slightly and was confronted by Hibbert, who shouted: “Give me your weed.”

She said Hibbert and Pratt pushed at the door along with a third, unknown male, and Mr Senior was forced back.

“He was trying desperately to keep the door shut, using a trolley in the hallway. Bricks began to be thrown through the opening in the door, followed by a large paving slab, which made dents on the wall,” Miss Denton added.

“Mr Senior picked up one of the bricks and threw it back out. At that point he heard Hibbert say, ‘Pass me the gun’. By now Mr Senior was in a panic, fearing for his own life and that of his son.”

Meanwhile, Oliver had barricaded himself in an upstairs bedroom, where he called the police, Miss Denton said.

Mr Senior suffered head injuries, a cut knee and a swollen left foot, and ached “all over his body” from struggling to keep the door shut.

The robbers caused more than £600 worth of damage.

Pratt had 41 previous convictions, the court heard, and was still on licence at the time of the incident after serving a sentence for burglary, while Kennedy’s record included convictions for knife possession and robbery.

Ian Groom, defending Pratt, said: “Information was given by somebody who thought there was cannabis there – it was a mistake.”

Judge Alan Goldsack QC jailed Pratt, of Cuthbert Bank Road, Walkley, and Kennedy, of Hastilar Road South, Manor, for three years and nine months each. They admitted attempted robbery.

“This was a mob-handed offence in someone’s home, causing great trauma,” the judge said.

Hibbert, of Seaton Crescent, Manor Park, will be sentenced later this month.