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Knife-wielding masked raider who said he would kill couple jailed for eight years

PUBLISHED: 16:18 02 May 2019

Daniel Gillett. PIC: Norfolk Polixce.

Daniel Gillett. PIC: Norfolk Polixce.

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A balaclava-clad intruder burst into a Norfolk home with a knife - and what appeared to be a gun - and told a couple in their 70s "I'm going to kill you."

Beach Road, Snettisham, where the armed robbery took place. Picture: Conor MatchettBeach Road, Snettisham, where the armed robbery took place. Picture: Conor Matchett

Daniel Gillett, 34, was one of two armed men who raided the Snettisham house and demanded money from the couple, Norwich Crown Court was told.

Sentencing Gillett to eight years in prison, Judge Stephen Holt said the victims “continued to live in fear”.

Judge Holt said: “This is something that will stay with them.

“The effect of burglary on people is bad enough but the effect of a stranger in a balaclava armed, certainly with a knife, is something that never goes away and will remain with them for the rest of their lives”.

Gillett, of Didcot, Oxfordshire, who has 46 previous convictions for 106 offences, appeared for sentence on Thursday (May 2) having previously aggravated burglary while in possession of a knife.

Danielle O'Donovan, prosecuting, said the male victim told the intruder he would “get nothing from him” prompting the raider to say “I'm going to kill you”.

The victim's partner heard him tell the intruder to “get out of my house”.

In a bid to lead the intruder away from his partner, the victim darted into the kitchen.

But Miss O'Donovan said the offender, who was described as having a gun in one hand and a knife in the other, came across the woman as she went to see what was going on.

He told her: “If you get out of the way I won't hurt you.”

The offender pushed past her causing her to fall to the floor but as she did she grabbed the door to the kitchen pulling it shut and trapping his arm in it.

Miss O'Donovan said it caused him to “stop and drop the knife that he was holding”.

The court was told she had the “presence of mind” to pick up the knife and throw it out of the way.

Her partner had armed himself with a carving knife and a fork to protect himself and waved them towards the intruder to “drive him away”.

Miss O'Donovan said Gillett threw crockery at the victim in the kitchen resulting in cuts to his face and hand.

But having lost his knife Gillett eventually backed off and fled, but not before he told the couple he would “come back for them”.

During the incident, which happened at about noon on February 15, Gillett lost his balaclava resulting in both victims seeing him.

There was also a second man in a balaclava seen outside although he has not been caught.

The court was told that DNA found on the balaclava left at the scene resulted in Gillett being caught.

Miss O'Donovan said the victims both suffered injuries in the incident resulting in a lot of blood being left at the scene.

She said the victim's were both stoic but the incident had left them in “considerable fear”.

They fear that they will be sought out by Gillett after he is released from prison.

Miss O'Donovan said the woman now no longer feels able to be in her own home with the doors unlocked.

Will Carter, mitigating, said he had a large number of convictions but said this offence was a “step change” in offending with most of his previous convictions for “low level” offences.

He said the defendant unsurprisingly had a drugs problem having started using class A drugs in his mid to late teens.

As previously reported, the victims had at first thought it was all a prank.

But the couple, who did not want to be named, needed hospital treatment for hand and head injuries after the break-in.

The man said: “He walked towards me saying 'give me money, give me money' and I said you are getting nothing. He carried on walking towards me.”

When the man shouted to his wife to call the police, the robber turned around, and gave him the chance to pick up a carving knife and fork from the kitchen.

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