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Thug kicked down front door of Good Samaritan who offered shelter to his ex at Christmas

By John Scott | Staffordshire | Crime | Published: | Last Updated:

A 6ft 4ins tall drug user with a tattoo on his head, who kicked down the front door of a Good Samaritan offering shelter to his ex-partner and child on Christmas Day, has been jailed.

The woman took pity on mother and child after a meeting at the hostel where they were living and invited them to spend December 25 with her.

But she was so frightened by the alarming arrival of Sam Downes, she fled into the back garden of her Brownhills home and locked herself in the shed with her six-year-old child, a judge heard. She recognised him in A car that pulled up outside the address at 10.30 on Christmas morning, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

The 31-year-old met the woman on the drive and asked to see his partner, who he was banned from having any contact with by a court order following earlier domestic abuse.

When the woman told him she was not at the address, he returned to his car and appeared to be holding a weapon when he re-emerged, explained Mr Richard Davenport, prosecuting.

He added: “She ran back inside her home, shut the front door, grabbed her six-year-old daughter and locked herself in the back garden shed.”

The defendant kicked the front door off it hinges before combing the house shouting ‘I am going to kill you’ but did not find his former partner.

He left without causing any more damage and went on the run, living rough until finally breaking cover to raid a shop.

Cash-strapped Downes burgled the Greetings 2000 store in Brownhills during the night of March 13, causing more than £3,500 damaged while breaking in. He escaped with a safe holding £440 after pausing for a drink of water.

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He got in after stripping part of the roof and kicked open a fire door to get out, leaving tell tale DNA on the mug from which he drank. Downes was arrested soon afterwards at an address in Walsall. The safe was in the garden.

The Good Samaritan was so terrified by her ordeal she moved to a secret address and is living in ‘constant fear,’ said Mr Davenport.

Her six-year-old child was also traumatised by the experience. The partner of the defendant declined to give a statement to police about the incident.

Mr Mohammed Khan, defending, insisted Downes was not armed during the Christmas Day confrontation. He said: “He then slept on the streets to evade the police and was under the influence of drugs and alcohol. He was short of money and broke into the shop on an impulse because he needed money.”

The defendant, of no fixed address and with 14 previous convictions involving 35 separate offences, pleaded guilty to affray, criminal damage and commercial burglary and was jailed for 13 months by Judge Amjad Nawaz who also banned him from having any future contact with the Good Samaritan.

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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