Man jailed after robbery at elderly couple's village home which left victims 'terrified'
PUBLISHED: 18:00 21 March 2018 | UPDATED: 18:19 21 March 2018
A man involved in a village robbery which left a vulnerable elderly couple “terrified” has been sent to prison.
Luke Leveridge, 40, of Saddlebow Road in King’s Lynn, who pleaded guilty to robbery on the basis he was coerced, was sentenced for seven-and-a-half years in jail at Norwich Crown Court today.
Prosecuting, Lori Tucker said Leveridge and two other men stole a handbag containing £1,000, two ornamental horses, silverware and £300 in cash from the Tilney All Saints property on December 20.
It happened between 6.50pm and 7.30pm and the house owners, a 79-year-old woman and 82-year-old man, were forced by the two men who worked with Leveridge to stay on their sofa during the ordeal.
Ms Tucker said the couple were not injured or violently threatened but one of the men, not Leveridge, was holding what appeared to be a screwdriver.
The court heard the property’s landline was cut before the robbery.
All three robbers were wearing balaclavas and the elderly couple were asked where the safe was - something they did not own.
In a written statement, the 79-year-old woman described the robbery as “terrifying”.
Ms Tucker added: “The home looked like a bomb had been dropped. She (the victim) and her husband were left in shock. He has gone to accident and emergency on three occasions since.
“The couple are trying to rebuild their family home. It will affect the rest of their lives.”
The court heard Leveridge was charged with motoring matters last year and this year and committed the burglary while on police bail.
Leveridge did not want to identify the others involved in the robbery because it put him and his family’s safety at risk.
Mitigating, Ian James said: “This offence was committed at a time of difficulty for him. The other persons involved are persons he is in fear of.
“He has remorse for what he has done. He appears to have insight into the affect this offence has had on those involved.
“He has just got married and has got stability in his life.”
Judge Maureen Bacon said: “I’m sentencing you on the basis you were one of three who were part of a joint enterprise.”