‘Stupid’ burglars blasted dad with shotgun in raid
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