Brave theft victim, 63, fought off burglar, 25
AN ORMSKIRK man who bravely punched a burglar, knocking out a tooth, has been praised by a top judge and awarded “full marks”.
Not only did the culprit, Craig Ford, lose a tooth, but, when caught by police four months later, he was bitten by a police dog after he kicked it while struggling to avoid arrest.
Jailing the “three strikes” burglar, Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, the Recorder of Liverpool, told him: “You’ve learnt two lessons, I hope. One is you do not mess with David Oldham and, two, you don’t mess with the police.
“I’m delighted to say that for your pains in committing these offences you now have one tooth less than you had before and you got bitten by a dog. It is the least you deserve.”
Liverpool Crown Court heard that the 63-year-old victim – who also courageously punched Ford’s accomplice – ended up with Ford’s blood on him which enabled police to identify him.
Sentencing him to a total sentence of three years, four months, the judge again praised Mr Oldham, saying: “full marks to Mr Oldham for the way in which he responded to what you did to invade his property.
“He gave you more than you bargained for because when he confronted you at the side of his house, disguised so only your eyes and nose were visible, he punched you.
“And not only did he punch you but when your accomplice, who had been breaking in upstairs and jumped down from the roof, he punched him as well.”
Derek Jones, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that, at the time of the burglary on April 5 this year, Ford was on licence from a three-year sentence imposed in 2016.
At about 7pm on April 5, Mr Oldham was at his home in Altys Lane, Ormskirk, when he heard noises and looking out he saw Ford, who had his coat zipped up with his hood down and looking upwards.
“Mr Oldham, a man of some substance, bravely went out to the side of the property and was confronted by the defendant, who moved towards him.
“Fearing for his safety, he punched him once to the face, which knocked him to the floor, and also knocked a tooth out.”
The other intruder then jumped down from the roof, landing in front of Mr Oldham, who instinctively punched him to the face, causing him to stumble backwards.
“The defendant had got back up and both males scuffled with him and began to punch him and Mr Oldham ended up being pushed into a bush.”
Mr Jones said that the accomplice picked up a plank of wood and swung it at Mr Oldham and Ford said: “Shoot him, he’s knocked my teeth out.”
The accomplice said to Mr Oldham: “We’ll just leave it now if you let us go.” And they both fled the scene and drove off.
Police saw Ford him on July 28 in Belmont Road, West Derby, and, after running to a Ford Kuga, he sped off, causing a policeman to have to step out of the way.
During a pursuit, he went through a red traffic light and the wrong way down West Derby Road before he turned off and disappeared.
On August 2, police raided a house in Cinema Drive, Wavertree, and Ford was agitated and struggled violently and kicked out at a police dog.
The handler released the dog, which bit Ford in the area of his left shoulder while he was on the settee and he was handcuffed and arrested.
Ford, 25, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to burglary; assault by beating; driving dangerously, while disqualified and without a licence. He was banned from driving for 32 months.
Desmond Lennon, defending, said that Ford had been living an itinerant lifestyle after his release from prison and “had gone off the rails.”
At the time of the offences his grandmother, to whom he was close, was dying.
He had issues with accommodation and had reverted to criminality but hopefully this custodial sentence will start him on the path to change, said Mr Lennon.
“Ford had driven in panic on seeing the police, as he knew he was wanted, but did not drive at the officer.”
Det Insp Andy McCourt said: “We welcome the sentencing of Ford and hope it shows others the courts will treat those involved in this type of crime, seriously and they will go to jail for it.
“Burglary is not a victimless offence, it has a massive and lasting effect on victims and we will do everything in our power to trace those responsible and bring them to justice.”