Terrified girl hid as burglary gang battered back door in early hours

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A COURT has heard how a terrified young girl cowered under her bedclothes as a gang of intruders tried to break into her Huddersfield home in the early hours.

The eight-year-old and her mother escaped from the house in Marsh through the front door while the attackers continued to bang on the back door, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.

In fact the burglars, who thought cannabis was being grown at the house, had targeted the wrong property.

When the householder returned with the police she found a mobile phone had been stolen and a knife had been left on the kitchen floor.

Prosecutor, Richard Smith, said the child’s mother had been woken by loud banging and when she went downstairs she saw a face at the back door.

“She ran upstairs to find her daughter cowering under the bedclothes,” he said.

The mother and daughter managed to escape and the police were alerted.

When police arrived they arrested Ashley Hirst, 22, and Jordan Patton, 18.

Hirst, of Church Street, Paddock, Huddersfield, and Patton, of Avison Road, Cowlersley, Huddersfield, both pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary following the break-in in January and were each locked up for six years.

Although both accepted they knew a knife was being carried by one of the group each of them denied being the one in physical possession of it.

At the time of the burglary Hirst was already subject to a community sentence for a previous burglary involving a confrontation.

The court heard Hirst was a drug addict and his barrister Adam Birkby said he was truly ashamed of the fact the offence had scared an innocent person and her child.

Patton’s lawyer Stephen Uttley said he was disgusted with himself.

Passing sentence on Patton the judge also took account of a further house burglary and three thefts.