Couple held hostage in own home by junkies

Sasha Owens and Dean Jenkins
Sasha Owens and Dean Jenkins

TWO junkies raided a young couple’s home and held them hostage in a terrifying ordeal while they ransacked their home looking for cash to buy drugs.

Crazed Dean Jenkins and Sasha Owens had been released from custody at Hartlepool Police Station just an hour before their carried out the terror raid.

The addicts were so desperate for a heroin hit, after spending hours being quizzed over a shoplifting allegation, that they went straight round to the victims’ home in the Dyke House area of Hartlepool and forced their way inside.

Owens, 24, locked the front door and took the keys, trapping frightened Alex Robson and his girlfriend, Vicki Bennett, who did not know the pair.

Jenkins roughed up Mr Robson and demanded money, while Owens searched through the couple’s bedroom looking for cash.

The court heard the couple have been left so traumatised by the ordeal that they have had to move out of their flat in Turnbull Street.

Jenkins and Owens, who both have bad criminal records, were each locked up for 21 months at Teesside Crown Court after they admitted burglary.

Mr Robson and Miss Bennett were at home waiting for a take-away at around midnight on January 22 when Jenkins, 26, knocked on their door.

Richard Wilson, prosecuting, said: “Alex Robson didn’t recognise either of them.

“Dean Jenkins pushed Mr Robson inside, grabbed him and marched him into the living room.

“At the same time Sasha Owens walked in behind. She shut the front door, saw the victims’ keys in the door and locked the front door.

“She pocketed them saying ‘these are mine’.”

Mr Wilson added: “Jenkins pushed Mr Robson into the living room and demanded cash from him.

“Vicki Bennett was sat on the sofa. She was shocked and frightened and said ‘what’s happening?’”

Jenkins marched Mr Robson into the bedroom and pinned him up against a wall while Owens rooted through drawers.

During a struggle, Mr Robson managed to break free and ran back into the living room trapping Jenkins and Owens inside the bedroom.

They tried to get back in, but fled out a window when the couple triggered their own burglar alarm.

Mr Robson gave chase and almost caught Jenkins, but backed off when he appeared to reach for something from his pocket.

Police recognised their descriptions from earlier and arrested the pair before they arrived home in Marlborough Street.

In a statement revealing the impact it has had on them, Mr Robson said he has to take medication to help him sleep and Miss Bennett says she “feels like a prisoner in her own home”.

Jim Withyman, mitigating, said Jenkins was sorry for his behaviour, adding: “There were no weapons in this case, the violence was of a very minimal nature and it was over a short time span.”

Richard Herrmann, mitigating for Owens, a mum of two, urged the judge to step back from the harshest guideleines for burglary saying they were not intended for “drug users kept in a police cell for hours, desperate for a hit and commit a horrid offence which is what these defendants did”.

He added: “She knows that this behaviour was utterly unacceptable and society can’t stomach it and the consequences of this offence are appalling and ongoing.”

Sentencing, Recorder Felicity Davies said: “The two of them must have been terrified not knowing what would happen next.

“As a result of this both complainants now suffer anxiety and nervousness. They have, as a direct result of this offence, left their own home.”