Long sentences for robbers who fired gun into couple’s ceiling
PUBLISHED: 17:06 18 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:06 18 March 2020
Two men who made a couple fear for their lives by firing a shotgun through the doorway of their Stoke Holy Cross home have been given sentences totalling 27 years.
Rashal Alam, 34, and Christy Cartman, 36, went to the address on Brickle Road and demanded the terrified couple hand over keys to their car, Norwich Crown Court heard.
They tried to force their way into the property by pointing a single-barrel shotgun through the doorway and a shot was fired, which hit the ceiling.
The couple managed to close the door, but Alam and Cartman then smashed a glass panel and stole keys to the couple’s VW Passat, which was then driven off.
Alam and Cartman were later arrested and were described by the judge as posing a significant risk of harm to the public,
In an impact statement, the woman victim said: “It was the most scary experience of my life.”
Earlier that same evening Cartman and Alam drove a stolen Mini at a 60 year-old man in Stoke Holy Cross forcing him to jump out of the way, and pointed a shotgun at him.
The court heard that Cartman stole the Mini in Norwich by carrying out a knifepoint carjacking on Guernsey Road,
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Alam of Bull Close Road, Norwich, was convicted of possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, aggravated burglary and taking a car without authority on June 10, last year.
He also admitted assaulting an emergency worker and racially aggravated threatening behaviour and was given an extended sentence of 10 years custody and five years extended licence.
Cartman, of Cavell Road, Norwich, was jailed for nine years with an extended three-year licence after he admitted possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, aggravated burglary and taking a car without consent,
He also admitted the car-jacking of a Mini.
Jailing them, Judge Anthony Bate said: “A series of violent offences took place in Norwich and rural South Norfolk which were both brazen and audacious.”
He said that the firing of the gun had left the couple terrified and said the crime had caused concern to residents living in the quiet village.
Matthew McNiff, for Alam, said that drugs and alcohol were behind his offending, adding: “He accepts it will be a heavy sentence.”
Andrew Oliver, for Cartman, said he had a problem with alcohol abuse and although he had offended before there was nothing as serious as this.
After the case Det Insp Chris Burgess said: “I have no doubt the county is a safer place with Cartman and Alam behind bars.”
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