Bridlington burglar sentenced to four years in jail after terrorising York couple in their own home

The burglar was jailed for four years.
The burglar was jailed for four years.

A burglar who terrorised a couple in their own home has been jailed for nearly four years.

The victims were woken by their dog barking in the early hours of the morning after Richard Stewart Hurst, 35, from Bridlington, and another male broke into their home in York.

The male householder went downstairs to investigate and was confronted by Hurst who shouted: “Get back now!”

The victim ran back upstairs and alerted his partner who called police. But Hurst followed him upstairs and told the terrified woman to hang up, York Crown Court heard.

“He said if she was on the phone to police, he would come back and get her,” said prosecutor Heather Gilmore.

Drunken Hurst then put his hand behind his back “as if he had a weapon” in his waistband. Thought to be high on drugs, he shouted threats from behind the bedroom door and demanded money.

The couple begged him “not to cause a disturbance” because there was a young child in the house. Undeterred, Hurst asked them “if they had any weed”.

The male victim, who was named in court, said that he had, just to get Hurst downstairs out of the way of his partner and the child.

Hurst then punched the man in the jaw, whereupon the second intruder took the victim’s moped outside and Hurst demanded the key to the vehicle.

“He (Hurst) left, taking two helmets with him,” said Ms Gilmore. “He also stole cigarettes, a wallet containing cards and £5 notes.”

The second male rode off on the moped, with Hurst running after it and taking control of the vehicle. A police officer tried to box the moped in with his car, but the fleeing pair managed to evade him, only for the moped to “wobble” and crash to the ground. Hurst and his cohort fell off and ran away.

An officer caught up with Hurst, who was restrained and failed a roadside drink-drive test.

A small handgun was found next to the scene of the crash, but Ms Gilmore said there was no evidence to prove the weapon had been present during the burglary.

Hurst was hauled into police custody where he was “aggressive and verbally abusive, shouting and swearing” at officers. He had to be restrained again after head-butting a plastic custody screen. Three officers had to escort him back to his cell, but he spat in the face of one of them, then belligerently refused another breath test.

The court heard that the second man got away and was never named by Hurst, who was charged with burglary, theft, common assault against the male householder, assaulting a police officer, using a vehicle without insurance and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

The burly, shaven-headed thug admitted all the offences and appeared for sentence on New Year’s Eve.

The female victim, who was also named, described the incident at her home in Pottery Lane - which occurred at about 1.40am on November 24 - as a “terrible nightmare”.

Since the incident she had barely slept or eaten and suffered from “terrible anxiety”. She had been to see her doctor and she and her partner had received counselling.

She now “hated” living in her council home and she and her partner had asked to be rehoused elsewhere because they no longer felt safe.

Her partner, whose doctor put him on a course of strong painkillers after being punched in the face, said he felt “constantly anxious and angry” after being attacked in his own home, which had had a “massive” effect on him.

Hurst, of Field Road, Bridlington, had a long rap sheet for offences including serious violence, shoplifting, assaulting police officers, possessing a bladed weapon in public, drink-driving, racially-aggravated public disorder and dealing Class A drugs.

The burglary in York occurred just a few months after he was put on an electronic curfew for resisting a police officer, shoplifting and failing to surrender.

His lawyer Neil Cutte said Hurst was ashamed of his behaviour and was sorry for the harm he had caused.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC said the “horrific” burglary had had a devastating effect on the victims who were “absolutely petrified” at the thought of a gun being brandished.

He added, however, that he would sentence Hurst on the basis that there was no weapon involved and that it was just an “amazing coincidence” that a handgun was found a short distance from the property.

Jailing the lout for 43 months, the judge said Hurst had behaved in a “disgraceful, disgusting” way towards officers following his arrest.