TWO men from Evesham have each been locked up for more than five years after they stormed into a terrified man’s home armed with a baseball bat and a mace (a type of club with a chain attached).
Nathan Williams, aged 21, of Fairfield Road, and James Kaler, 20, of St James’s Drive, both admitted aggravated burglary when they appeared at Worcester Crown Court.
The court heard how victim Jack Murray, who was hit on his ribs with the baseball bat wielded by Williams, was rescued by his brave friend Andy Harrison, who dragged him into a room, where they barricaded themselves in with a sofa to escape the intruders.
Judge Robert Juckes praised Mr Harrison for his courage and bravery in helping his friend.
Mr Murray, 29, suffered bruised ribs in the incident, which took place at Robins Corner, in Evesham, on May 28.
But speaking to the Journal after the hearing, he said it could have been a lot worse had it not been for Mr Harrison, who he has known since he was 14.
“He pulled me out the way, he didn’t want me to get hit with the weapon,” he said.
“He helped me out quite a lot they could have done some serious damage. I think it would have been a lot worse.”
Williams also admitted having a baseball bat and Kaler pleaded guilty to possessing a mace – a piece of wood with a chain attached - when they appeared in court on Wednesday, July 16.
Williams was sent to a young offenders institution for five years and six months. Kaler received five years and seven months as Judge imposed four weeks of a suspended sentence against him for a police assault and criminal damage.
Gareth Walters, prosecuting, told the court Mr Murray heard a bang downstairs just after 11pmand found Williams, armed with a baseball bat, and Kaler with a mace in the hallway.
Williams swung the bat at him, catching him on the ribs.
Mr Harrison dragged him into the front room and put a sofa across the door, which Williams and Kaler tried to forced open.
Later Mr Murray found his 42in TV missing, his front door kicked in and a communal door had been knocked off its hinges.
Belinda Ariss, for Williams, who has a learning difficulty which makes him struggle to read and write, said the break-in was over a £140 debt owed by Mr Murray to her client, which had been outstanding for some time.
“It was a particularly nasty offence with high consequences,” she said. “It must have been terrifying for Mr Murray and the other gentleman who was there.”
Miss Ariss added that Williams wanted to apologise to them and the court.
Paul Stanley, defending Kaler, said his client’s mother died when he was 11 and he started offending soon after when he hung around with the “wrong crowd”.
Kaler had also completed a business course and a mentoring course for young offenders and had been awarded ‘student of the month’ at Milton Keynes College.
Mr Murray, who now lives in London, told the Journal he had little time to think when the incident took place.
“They looked quite surprised when they saw me,” he said. “When they opened the living room door they looked quite scared. They must have thought I wasn’t in or something.
“I felt quite shocked. That was my main emotion. It all went quite fast. You don’t expect someone to kick down your door. It’s not a day-to-day thing.”
Mr Murray added he was happy with the sentence the pair were given.
“After what they did they should go away for a long time,” he added.