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Sentenced

Violent burglars stabbed father after breaking into Sheerness home

Two violent burglars armed with hammers, a knife, and an imitation handgun, have been jailed for a total of 30 years after breaking into two homes in Sheerness.

Lee Duffy (pictured first), 34, of Craylands Square in Swanscombe, and Lee Sales, 33, of no fixed address, broke down the door of a property in Alexandra Road in June last year.

They pointed a gun at a woman, demanded money, and asked for a person’s whereabouts. They soon realised they were in the wrong address and left, leaving £100 to repair the broken door.

The duo then entered another address in Alexandra Road, where they pointed an imitation gun at a young girl and demanded money from her father, a man aged in his 40s.

Serious injuries


In a struggle, the dad was hit on the head with a hammer and stabbed in the chest.

Sales and Duffy continued to threaten the family, with one of the men running upstairs to frighten a woman and other young children.

However, the two abandoned their efforts and fled in a white van after the father chased them from the house with his pet dog.

Officers located the vehicle as it left the Isle of Sheppey, and pursued it until it came to a stop and both men attempted to escape on foot.

Duffy was found and arrested.  Sales broke into a nearby home and offered its occupants £100 to hide him.  He was arrested by searching officers shortly afterwards.

Jailed


Both men appeared for sentencing at Woolwich Crown Court on Wednesday 31 January.

Duffy was jailed for 14 years with five years on licence after being found  guilty of aggravated burglary, possession of an imitation firearm, robbery and assault.

Sales was jailed for 16 years with five years on licence after being found guilty of the same offences.

He also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, a burglary at the address where he was arrested, and two other robberies that were committed two days before the break-ins.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Kathryn Lumsden–Earle said: ‘This was an especially violent case. Duffy and Sales appeared in the early hours equipped with weapons to terrify their victims into getting what they wanted, even choosing to use them when challenged.

‘Fortunately, the father’s injuries were not life-threatening, however this was more through sheer luck and the violent actions of both men could easily have resulted in an even more serious offence.

‘Despite a wealth of evidence placing both men at the scene, Duffy and Sales still tried to avoid punishment and subjected their victims to a crown court trial, forcing them to relive this undoubtedly upsetting experience.

‘I hope this result provides some reassurance to the victims and the surrounding community. Kent Police takes incidents involving violence seriously and will always act to bring offenders before the courts.’

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