‘Stupid’ bur­glars blasted dad with shot­gun in raid

Middleton Guardian - - WILDLIFE - PAUL BRIT­TON

THREE ‘stupid’ thugs who plot­ted to bur­gle a fam­ily home have been jailed for a to­tal of more than 35 years af­ter a fa­ther-of-two was blasted in the stom­ach with a sawnoff shot­gun.

Do­minic Burke, 21, from Mid­dle­ton, who played a ‘lead­ing role’ in the con­spir­acy and fired the gun at close range, was jailed for 15 years.

Burke’s brother An­thony Ward, 29, also from Mid­dle­ton, who armed him­self with a ma­chete dur­ing the raid, was jailed for nine­and-a-half years.

‘Mas­ter­mind’ Steven O’Don­nell, 25, who was said to be the ‘lead­ing light’ be­hind the con­spir­acy, got 11 years.

A judge said a mo­tive for the ter­ri­fy­ing at­tack in Prest­wich, near Bury, ‘re­mains un­clear’.

The sen­tenc­ing hear­ing at Bolton Crown Court was told a plot was con­cocted to ‘bur­gle a cannabis grow’, but there was no farm in the house.

Peter Glenser QC, rep­re­sent­ing Burke, said: “This was an ap­palling set of cir­cum­stances cre­ated by their own stu­pid­ity.”

Judge Ti­mothy Clayson said vic­tim John Louden, 51, could eas­ily have been killed and although re­cov­er­ing, pel­lets from the shot­gun re­mained lodged in his body, in­clud­ing some near his heart.

He was con­fronted by two masked men – Burke and Ward – just out­side his bed­room door as he was about to leave his home on Gle­be­lands Road to col­lect his two daugh­ters from Girl Guides in Novem­ber last year.

O’Don­nell had driven them to the scene and the brothers, to­gether with a third man, smashed their way in­side through pa­tio doors.

Judge Clayson said Mr Louden re­acted by shout­ing loudly and mov­ing to­wards Ward at the top of the stairs. The shot was then fired by Burke, who was stood be­hind his brother. All three then fled – steal­ing noth­ing from the house.

Open­ing the case to a jury pros­e­cu­tor Michael Brady said the force of the shot ‘pro­pelled’ Mr Louden back into his bed­room, where he man­aged to lock the door and dial 999.

Mr Brady said: “Notwith­stand­ing the en­quiries made by the po­lice no mo­tive, ob­vi­ous or oth­er­wise, for the con­spir­acy to mur­der has been un­earthed.”

O’Don­nell, of Carr Av­enue, Prest­wich, Ward, of Braith­waite Road, Mid­dle­ton, and Burke, of Whin­fell Drive, Mid­dle­ton, were all found not guilty of con­spir­acy to com­mit mur­der af­ter a six-week trial.

Burke and Ward pleaded guilty to con­spir­acy to com­mit ag­gra­vated bur­glary and Ward was found guilty of the charge af­ter the trial. Burke also pleaded guilty to pos­ses­sion of a firearm and sec­tion 18 as­sault.

Matthew Moss, 28, of Ry­dal Av­enue Chad­der­ton, was found not guilty of con­spir­acy to com­mit mur­der and con­spir­acy to com­mit ag­gra­vated bur­glary.

Waseem Ahmed, 29, of Green­stead Av­enue, Manch­ester, was ac­quit­ted of con­spir­acy to com­mit mur­der. Both de­nied all the charges they faced.

Do­minic Burke, Steven O’Don­nell and An­thony Ward

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.