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Couple threatened with knife and axe in armed raid at Norfolk home

PUBLISHED: 08:37 03 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:33 03 August 2019

Ryan Helstern. PIC: Norfolk Police.

Ryan Helstern. PIC: Norfolk Police.

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A couple were left terrified after they were threatened with a knife and an axe while still in bed during an armed raid carried out in the middle of the night.

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodNorwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court heard that the victims suffered flashbacks and have difficulty sleeping following the raid at their home in Smith Avenue, King's Lynn.

The couple were woken after armed raiders, with faces covered by scarves, broke into the home and threatened them with a knife and an axe after shining torches in their faces while they were still in bed.

Ryan Helstern, 24, and Robert Gladman, 33, were sentenced to nine years and eight and a half years respectively for their parts in the raid on November 6 last year.

The jail terms came after they were both previously found guilty of three counts of assault with intent to commit robbery following a trial earlier this year. They were also each found guilty of possession of an offensive weapon.

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Martin Ivory, prosecuting, read out victim impact statements before they were sentenced on Friday (August 2).

He said the woman described how she has found sleeping difficult since the offence and now lies in bed "looking at the door scared, imagining someone coming in".

Mr Ivory said she has flashbacks to when she was woken up after the break-in which happened in the middle of the night by torch light.

Meanwhile the male victim also said he had difficulty sleeping since the incident with flashbacks and thought about what happened for days after the incident, particularly the torch and knife being in his face.

Judge Katharine Moore said it "must've been terrifying" for the couple who had been in bed at the time.

Charles Kellett, for Helstern, formerly of Colombia Way, Lynn said the defendant was could not tell him why he had got involved in this as life had been going so well for him. He said the defendant knew he was not going to be out "for a long time" but insisted he was not someone who wanted to sit back and become institutionalised.

Andrew Oliver, for Gladman, formerly of Milton Avenue, Lynn, recognised it must have been traumatic and frightening for the victims but said while weapons were brandished they were not used. He said it had been "so out of character from the life he had created".

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