Jailed: Walsall pair armed with crowbars and hammers in terrifying raid on Great Barr home

Two Walsall men have been jailed for their part in a terrifying break-in at a Great Barr home in broad daylight.

Tyrone Downes, 32, of Binroock Road, Willenhall, and Junioroy Barrett, 31, of Wakes Close, Willenhall, were jailed for seven years and five months each at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Monday.

Both men had previously pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and criminal damages charges, while Barrett was also sentenced for one count of assault.

At around 3.40pm on April 17, the masked men armed with crowbars and hammers kicked down the front door of the family home in Great Barr. The duo targeted the property because they hoped they would be able to steal a substantial amount of cash and gold. While inside the property, Barrett assaulted one of the occupants.

The court was told that when the men made off from the scene, the getaway car was being driven in such a manner, it alerted nearby traffic officers who stopped the Peugeot near to the scene of the burglary.

Neighbours had already dialled 999 alerting police to screams coming from those inside the house.

Odd

It was later discovered that the men had scoped out the property the day before. A neighbour had seen the men getting out of the getaway car and walking towards the property and staying in situ for 20 minutes.

On the day of the incident, a witness noticed the Peugeot as he saw two men get out of from the vehicle, with one man holding what he thought was a broom handle. The witness thinking this was odd noted the registration of the car, which later enabled police to arrest the defendants when they could match the registration to the Peugeot they had stopped nearby the scene.

Kate Seal of the Crown Prosecution Service said: "This was a premeditated and targeted attack to invade another person's home in this manner which would have been a terrifying ordeal for the occupants.

"Downes and Barrett forced entry to the house at the height of a public health crisis while members of the public were being asked to stay at home. People deserve to feel safe and secure in their own homes, and the community response to this incident has been crucial to these men being brought to justice.

"The swift actions of neighbours calling the police and noting the registration of the car assisted the officers who had stopped the vehicle a short distance from the scene, facilitating the arrest of the three males within minutes of them leaving the address."

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