A man has been jailed for his part in the violent robbery of a Chorley home.
Wayne Mullally, 27, was sentenced to nine years for being one of three men to target an exclusive home in Sandy Lane, Brindle and subject the housekeeper to a ‘terrifying ordeal’ before making off with goods valuing over £5,000.
Mullally was caught after police discovered his DNA on tape used to gag the 37-year-old housekeeper, but two other men remain at large.
The incident happened on November 18 last year when the three men disguised as workmen in white overalls and dust masks entered the property belonging to Bill and Suzanne Quinn, shortly after their housekeeper, Mrs Claymore, returned from taking her children to school. No one else was in the house.
She entered the annexe where she was staying and was grabbed from behind by the men, who ordered her to let them into the main house and deactivate an alarm.
Sentencing Mullally at Preston Crown Court on Monday, Judge Slinger, said: “You were involved with two other men in a dreadful robbery at this property in Brinscall.I say dreadful because a young vulnerable woman who had been left to look after this premises was suddenly seized and put through an experience of terror - an experience which has left her with deep emotional fears which may well affect her some a considerable time.”
The court heard that after being let into the property, two men went upstairs and began to search the house while one stood over her. When Mrs Claymore became hysterical and started to cry, one of the three men told her to shut up before slapping her across the face, which caused her lip to bleed. She was then gagged with tape and bound by the wrists.
Judge Slinger said: “This unfortunate lady pleaded for mercy. She became hysterical but instead of showing sympathy, she was bound with tape which was put over her mouth and it is quite clear for much of this ordeal she was having difficulty breathing.”
The men used a metal pole to try and break into a safe in the dressing room of an upstairs bedroom, but abandoned the attempts when an alarm went off. They made off with goods including a games console, jewellery and imitation designer watches, one of which was found in Mullally’s home in Manchester.
The alarm was raised after Mrs Claymore managed to make her way onto Sandy Lane after the three men escaped, and alerted passers-by. She no longer works for the Quinn family.
Mullally, of Hitchen Street, Manchester, who previously worked for the family at their demolition busines and had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty in court after previously denying the offences.
Judge Slinger said: “It was some months before the police enquiries had some success and during that time Mrs Claymore had to put up with the constant fear of not knowing what was going to happen. That fear continues because there are still two men at large.”
Speaking after the sentencing, homeowner Bill Quinn praised the police for their work in bringing the men involved to justice.
He said: “Until everyone is caught this is still ongoing for us. I am pleased with the sentence that has been given and the way the police looked after us throughout the investigation. Mrs Claymore was a great worker and we are really sorry to have lost her.”
Det Insp Paul Rudd of Chorley CID said: “This was a nasty offence which was obviously well planned and executed by the offenders. They showed no regard whatsoever towards the housekeeper who was left traumatised. Thankfully these types of offences are extremely rare but we take them very seriously and are committed to investigating them thoroughly.
“I am delighted with the sentence given and it should send a clear message that this type of offence will not be tolerated.
“An investigation is ongoing into this robbery to identify the other offenders.