Criminals in revenge attack on wrong man

A CRIMINAL couple whose home was trashed by burglars enlisted friends to help them find the culprits, armed themselves with terrifying weapons and attacked the wrong house.

Colin Hanlon, aged 29, who has 67 convictions for robbery, burglary and violence, and girlfriend Abbie Neville, 19, who has 35 convictions for violence and robbery, gave the occupant "the fright of his life," Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Martin Sharpe, prosecuting, said the pair were furious when their home in Dundas Road, Tinsley, was burgled and vandalised. The walls were smeared with excrement.

They recruited Jonathon Kewley, 33, and his partner Michaela Underwood, 23, of Spital Street, Burngreave - who had 76 and 51 offences respectively - to help them track down the burglars.

Mr Sharpe said Hanlon and Kewley went to a property, also on Dundas Road where they thought the burglars lived and broke down the door, brandishing a knife and an iron chain.

But the bungling crooks had got the wrong address.

Mr Sharpe said: "It was the home of a Chinese man who Hanlon and Kewley confronted with the weapons.

"They realised it was the wrong house, apologised and left.

"Later, accompanied by Neville and Underwood, they went to another property which they believed to be the correct one and kicked the door down, shouting 'You're dead, you're dead'.

"There was a mother and daughter at home at the time."

Mr Sharpe said weapons were not used, police were called and the couples were arrested.

The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Alan Goldsack QC said: "You armed yourselves with a knife and iron chain and went to the house where you thought the perpetrators lived.

"In fact, you went to the home of an entirely innocent person, a Chinese gentleman who was upstairs in his bedroom when you barged in.

"You must have given him the fright of his life.

"You were about to assault him when you realised you had got the wrong house."

The judge described the second incident as a "serious offence of affray".

He said: "You went mob handed, with weapons, late at night, into a place where people have the right to feel safe."

The court was told Hanlon's past offending was due to drug addiction.

He organised the revenge attack because his "dream" of having his own home with his partner "had been shattered" by the damage caused in the burglary.

Kewley accepted his part in the offences, while the womens' barristers said they were not responsible for carrying the weapons.

Hanlon and Kewley, described as "career criminals" by the judge, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and affray and were jailed for four-and-a-half years. Neville and Underwood, who both admitted affray, each received 14-month jail terms.

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