Vi­o­lent rob­ber at­tacked man in ter­ri­fy­ing or­deal

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By AN­DREW BARDSLEY an­[email protected] @ABard­s­leyMEN

A MAN was punched, tied up and had a knife put to his throat be­fore hav­ing thou­sands of pounds stolen dur­ing a ter­ri­fy­ing rob­bery, a court heard.

Paul Higham burst into the man’s house in Ec­cles, im­me­di­ately punch­ing him to the face af­ter knock­ing on his door.

Af­ter the ini­tial at­tack, Higham, 41, then put his vic­tim to the floor and sub­dued him in a head­lock.

He then pulled a chord from the tele­phone, which he used to tie the man’s hands be­hind his back.

Higham de­manded money from the man, and threat­ened to kill him if he didn’t com­ply.

Then Higham went into the kitchen and got a knife, which he put to the man’s neck.

He cut him slightly, pros­e­cu­tor Neil Usher told Manch­ester Crown Court. Higham then put the knife to a wound on the man’s leg, where he had re­cently un­der­gone an op­er­a­tion to his knee.

He threat­ened to re-open the wound if the man didn’t hand over money. The vic­tim was dragged up­stairs, where the de­mands for cash con­tin­ued. Higham or­dered the man to open his safe. In the safe was a num­ber of en­velopes each con­tain­ing £1,000, which Higham stole.

He also de­manded cig­a­rettes. Higham took a num­ber of large boxes of cig­a­rettes. Higham stuffed the cash and cig­a­rettes in a pil­low case, be­fore tak­ing more money from the man’s wal­let.

Be­fore leav­ing, Higham told the man: “Don’t bother telling the po­lice.

“I don’t give a **** about the po­lice. Can’t you see I’m not bal­a­clavaed up?”

He then de­manded the keys for the man’s van.

Higham left in the ve­hi­cle, but it stalled and he fled on foot in­stead.

Through­out the rob­bery, which oc­curred in Win­ton in June, the vic­tim recog­nised Higham. He recog­nised him from liv­ing nearby, and from the dis­tinc­tive tat­too on his neck. Po­lice went to Higham’s home and he de­nied any knowl­edge of the in­ci­dent.

That same day, the vic­tim picked Higham out in an iden­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­ce­dure. In in­ter­view with the po­lice, Higham told of­fi­cers: “It is what it is.

“I don’t give a **** . That’s what hap­pens when you deal drugs.” Higham, of Cather­ine Street, Ec­cles, de­nied rob­bery at a Manch­ester Crown Court trial.

But a jury unan­i­mously found him guilty of rob­bery, and he will be sen­tenced on Jan­uary 24.

Paul Higham

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