Gang members who tied up a young family and threatened them with a sledgehammer and knifes before ransacking their home have been jailed at Preston Crown Court.
Scott Peters, 26, of Harbour Lane, Warton; Jake Smith, 26, of no fixed address; Tom Yeung, 22, of Navigation Wharf, Liverpool and Michael White, 26, of Sybil Road Liverpool were all jailed for a robbery in Longridge after a five day sentencing hearing.
At around 4.30pm on February 11, 2014, a gang of men wearing skull masks burst into the family’s home while a mother was helping her eight-year-old son with school work and her 10-year-old son was in the shower. The woman’s husband was at work.
The men, who were armed with a sledgehammer and knives, held a knife to the mother’s throat before punching her in the head and assaulted the children.
They demanded access to a safe they already knew contained legally held shotguns and ammunition.
They used a dressing gown cord to tie up the woman and her sons before barricading them into the bathroom.
The men made off with 14 shotguns and multiple rounds of ammunition as well as cash, personal items and jewellery.
Enquiries led police to Scott Peters, who was an associate of the victim’s husband and who knew he was a gun enthusiast and would not be at home.
Peters used his connections in Merseyside and arranged for Michael White, Tom Yeung, Jake Smith and another man to carry out the attack.
Detective Inspector Paddy O’Neill called it a “well-planned, ruthless and targeted attack”.
He said: “The ordeal the family were subsequently put through was nothing short of horrendous. The parents have shown great fortitude over the last two years in supporting the investigation and giving difficult yet critical witness testimonies in court.”
He added: “I sincerely hope that this brings some closure for the family who have suffered much during and since this appalling attack.”
Peters was sentenced to 13.5 years while White was given a 15 year extended sentence.
Tom Yeung and Jake Smith were sentenced for the robbery and also for their part in a false imprisonment and blackmail offence in Hull.
Yeung was given 19 years for both offences and Smith, who was found with £36,000 worth of drugs on his arrest, was given a life sentence with a 30 year tariff.