Masked burglar hit victim with fake gun and threatened to shoot family dog

Matthew Carpenter has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment at Norwich Crown Court.

Matthew Carpenter has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment after assaulting a couple and threatening to hurt their dog with an imitation gun, demanding money and gold before making off empty-handed. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

A masked man disguised as a delivery driver hit a householder over the head with a fake gun and threatened to shoot the family's pet dog during a terrifying burglary, a court heard.

Matthew Carpenter, 40, was wearing a DPD delivery driver coat and cap when he entered the home on Chapel Lane, Methwold around 6pm and threatened the family with an imitation gun, demanding they hand over gold and money, Norwich Crown Court was told.

Ian James, prosecuting, said that Carpenter kept saying: "Give me your money and your gold" while pointing the gun at the male victim and then at the dog.

Mr James said: "At one point he threatened to shoot the dog if they did not contain it."

He said the householder and Carpenter became involved in a struggle and Carpenter hit the victim over the head with the gun causing a wound.

Carpenter then fled empty-handed warning the victims he would kill them if they contacted police.

However he left behind his mask, which had his DNA on it, and was later arrested.

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Mr James said the gun was never recovered.

In an impact statement, the burglary victims said it had been a terrifying experience and they had since had to move away from the address.

The court heard that at the time of the offence, Carpenter was on early release from a 15 year sentence for conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to possess a firearm.

Carpenter admitted aggravated burglary and possession of an imitation firearm on May 19, 2020 and was jailed seven years.

John Farmer, for Carpenter, said that he had a very difficult background and had spent one third of his life behind bars.

However he had been making progress since his return to prison.

Sentencing him, Judge Anthony Bate accepted Carpenter had found it hard to settle after his early release in 2017.

He said the fact he was now making progress while in Peterborough jail was encouraging and ordered that on his release from this latest sentence there should be some support in place to help prevent him re-offending.

Police linked Carpenter to the crimes through forensic evidence and found he matched the victim's description.

In a statement following the case, Det Sgt Alex Gilmour said: "The victims were left in fear of their lives and had no idea if the firearm being aimed at them was real or not. Understandably they were very shaken up by the whole incident.

"We would like this to be a message that we will not tolerate this kind of activity in Norfolk and will not hesitate to bring violent offenders to justice.”

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