House raiders left ill victim so traumatised she wants to leave Hartlepool

Joshua Cockburn and Philip Thorpe
Joshua Cockburn and Philip Thorpe

A burglary victim has been left so terrified after two thugs burst into her home that she wants to leave Hartlepool.

Philip Thorpe and Joshua Cockburn smashed their way in to the victim’s home in Baden Street, Hartlepool, early in the morning and terrified her before making off with just £40 and her mobile phone.

She tried to hold a chair to the door of the room however the two defendants burst into the living room

Prosecutor Harry Hadfield

They forced their way in through the front door after they claimed they were police but the victim, who is in her 50s and suffers from a chronic lung condition, did not believe them.

She was left so frightened by the incident, during w hich Thorpe urged Cockburn to “stab her”, she had to stay with friends and wants to move out of town altogether.

Teesside Crown Court heard it was just after 6am on June 25 when the victim noticed two men walking up and down outside the street.

One, later identified as Thorpe, 26, knocked on her window and shouted “police”.

Prosecutor Harry Hadfield said: “The victim did not think they looked like police and shouted ‘get lost’ and closed the curtains.

“Moments later she heard loud banging on the door and a panel came through. She tried to hold a chair to the door of the room however the two defendants burst into the living room.

“The victim tried to make a 999 call on her mobile phone but Thorpe grabbed it from her hand.”

Mr Hadfield said during the pushing and shoving that followed,the victim received a blow to her back.

Cockburn, 21, picked up £40 from a coffee table.

Mr Hadfield added: “Thorpe had hold of her and pushed her on to a sofa while shouting ‘you have got something I want, give me the rest of the money’.

“When she told the men she didn’t have any money, she heard Thorpe say within earshot of Cockburn ‘stab her’.”

Later that day, police went to Cockburn’s home and found him with Thorpe, and the victim’s stolen mobile was recovered.

Both denied being involved, but later pleaded guilty to burglary.

In a statement read out in court, the victim said: “The incident has left me afraid to the point I don’t want to stay in Hartlepool.”

Paul Cleasby, mitigating for Thorpe, of Barton Avenue, said they had gone to the house looking for someone else.

He said: “The incident was short-lived. Nobody, happily, was seriously injured. It is obvious the incident will have had a frightening impact on the complainant.”
 Ian Mullarkey, for Cockburn, of Rydal Street, said he had lacked guidance in his life and added: “He regrets having committed the offence totally and recognises a custodial sentence will be passed today.”

Both men were jailed for 40 months.

Judge Simon Borune-Arton QC slammed their attitude in the dock when they shook their head in disagreement at the description of the burglary.

He said: “At every stage you have thought only of yourself and not once did you think about the effect on the victim of your crime.

“This was an offence against a vulnerable woman in the early hours of the morning in which violence was used.

“You threatened her and took what little she had from her.”