Yorkshire couple forced to sell home after terrifying attack by armed intruders

A dangerous criminal who was prepared to carry weapons and use violence on innocent householders has been jailed for 14 years.

Bradford Crown Court heard that a couple who were attacked in their home in Low Moor, Bradford, by Mark Hall and his accomplice had been severely affected by the aggravated burglary and had subsequently sold their property.

The court was told that another couple in their 70s, who had been the victims of a similar attack three weeks earlier, had been left fearing for their lives.

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Hall, 50, of Hydale Court, Low Moor, Bradford, was given an extended licence period of three years on top of his 14-year prison term after Recorder Kama Melly QC said he posed a significant risk to members of the public.

Mark Hall was jailed at Bradford Crown Court

In early December 2018, Hall and another man carried out a planned robbery at the home of the elderly couple after they had both covered their faces.

As they approached the house one of the men said “it’s ok it’s only an old b******” before they forced their way in and the male occupant, who had limited mobility due to an operation, was punched to the floor.

Prosecutor Eddison Flint said the men demanded money, asked about a safe and threatened to shoot the man if he didn’t cooperate.

When the householder’s wife came into the kitchen money was demanded from her, but the pair eventually fled with just £60 from the man’s wallet and some loose change from a jar.

The court heard that two neighbours bravely picked up gardening tools to confront the robbers and after a struggle Hall left a training shoe behind at the scene and a DNA match would later link him to the crime.

In her statement after the attack the man’s wife said she had never been so scared in her whole life and she was scared for the lives of herself and her husband.

“I feel like it’s going to take a very long time for us to get over this,” she said.

Just three weeks later Hall, again with another man, targeted another couple’s home in Low Moor, but this time they were armed with a baseball bat and a crowbar.

Mr Flint said the male householder was struck with the bat when he came out to investigate a noise and he was then hit again by the man holding the crowbar.

The attackers were demanding money and when the victim’s wife came across the scene she was screaming.

The couple managed to get behind a door which was held shut as the attackers tried to get it open, but the men eventually fled empty-handed.

As a result of the violence the victim suffered serious injuries to his shoulders as well as headaches, depression and flashbacks.

He said he was unable to work or drive and would sit up at night watching CCTV equipment at his home.

Mr Flint said the couple couldn’t stay in the family home and had to sell up and move.

Former drug addict Hall had been jailed for a robbery back in 2008, but the court was told he had subsequently got himself drug free and kept out of trouble for a decade.

In 2018 he became dependent on alcohol and relapsed into crime. Recorder Melly said the offences demonstrated that Hall was prepared to involve himself in the use of gratuitous violence against innocent members of the public who were simply at home minding their own business until the defendant decided he needed money from them.

Recorder Melly said the victims of the second attack had had their lives “irretrievably altered”.

Hall was convicted by a jury on the charges of robbery and aggravated burglary, but the court heard he had now accepted his responsibility for the crimes.

After jailing Hall, Recorder Melly awarded £100 to each of the two neighbours who had confronted the robbers during the first attack.

She said they had had put themselves at some risk and their efforts had helped to bring Hall to justice.