Norfolk

Man jailed for gunpoint burglary in Bedfordshire

A man who held a couple in theirs 80s at gunpoint during a burglary in Bedfordshire has been jailed.

William Dunbar, 32, of Winifred Road, Bedford, had denied aggravated burglary in Oakley in October, and a separate burglary in Clapham, south London.

He was convicted by a jury at Luton Crown Court, which heard how an 84-year-old man had been dragged along the floor.

Dunbar was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection and must serve nine years before applying for parole.

Pushed to floor

The jury was told the couple in Oakley were forced at gunpoint to remain on the sofa while the house was searched.

The husband tried to run out of the property, but was grabbed and pushed to the floor, the court was told.

The couple eventually managed to escape and alerted neighbours, although Dunbar fled before police arrived.

In a victim impact statement, the husband said: "I answered a knock at my door not knowing it would change my life for ever.

"I constantly think they will come back.

"No punishment will be sufficient, for he has ruined my life."

His 83-year-old wife said in her statement: "I can honestly say this was the worse thing that happened in my life.

"All I can think about day and night is this pair in our house and the man dragging my husband along the floor.

"I live in constant fear and cannot sleep."

Cowardly threat

Recorder Malcolm Bishop QC told Dunbar: "These offences were despicable and heinous.

"You demanded money from this couple and when the female householder, with great courage, slapped you across the face, being the coward you are you threatened her with what looked like a gun.

"The male householder sustained injuries when you dragged him into the living room and threw him on the floor. You violated their sense of security.

"You have shown no remorse and even now continue to claim you are innocent."

Dunbar claimed to the jury that he was caring for his young daughter at the time the burglaries were committed.

Dunbar's co-accused, Bledar Bendaj, 31 of no fixed address, was cleared of all charges by Recorder Bishop.

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