Barton Hill family terrified by armed raiders
A FAMILY were terrified when two men broke into a block of flats armed with a claw hammer, baseball bat and metal bar.
Bristol Crown Court heard Damien Taylor and Shane Hele smashed windows and banged on doors at the block in Rupert Street, Barton Hill, as they searched for Louise Barrett, and Wayne Hicks.
Miss Barrett had earlier been threatened by Hele and Taylor after a row over money, the court heard.
Hele, 23, of Gaddshill Road, Eastville, was yesterday jailed for a total of five years, having admitted aggravated burglary and attempted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, relating to a separate incident.
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Taylor, 23, had already been jailed for six years for the same offences.
Jonathan Stanniland, prosecuting, said that on November 17 Miss Barrett and her partner Mr Hicks had been involved in a row at the flat of a woman named in court only as Jackie, who had accused Miss Barrett of stealing about £30 from her purse.
Hele, who had a baseball bat in his hand, and Taylor were also in the flat at the time. They warned Miss Barrett that if she went to the police they would "smash" her place up.
Miss Barrett went outside, saw a police van parked nearby and banged on it, but there was no-one inside.
When she and Mr Hicks returned to his flat on Rupert Street, Redfield, later that evening, they started getting "sinister" text messages from Jackie's number.
Mr Stanniland said Taylor and Hele got into the flat's communal area, several windows were smashed by Taylor and the pair banged on the doors of flats.
Police were called and Hele was arrested outside. Weapons were found under a nearby car.
In August last year, Hele had been involved in an attack on Mitchell Davies, the boyfriend of Hele's ex-partner Holly Leyshon, who is the mother of his child.
The court heard that after exchanging threats on website Facebook, Mr Davies and Hele argued on Church Road, Redfield, and Mr Davies pushed Hele before running away. But Miss Leyshon's brother Lewis cut off his escape and punched him to the floor, before Hele and Taylor caught up with him, punched and kicked him. Hele hit him over the head with a glass lager bottle, the court heard.
Mr Davies suffered wrist ligament damage and the attack exacerbated epilepsy-like symptoms he already had, the court heard.
Lewis Leyshon received a community order for his part in the assault.
Mitigating, Sarah Regan said her client, who was of previous good character and "naïve", had not taken the bottle with the intent of using it as a weapon. She said Hele believed Mr Davies was going to get a knife to attack him with.
Of the aggravated burglary, she said he denied having a weapon or causing any damage and acted more as a "lookout". He had been drinking when both offences were committed.
The judge read character references from Hele's family and heard from his former employer.
Judge Michael Roach described the tearful defendant's behaviour as "foolish" but said the offences merited a jail term. He sentenced him to two years for the attempted wounding and three years for the aggravated burglary.