Four men have been sentenced to a total of 57 years and 10 months in prison for two robberies in June.
They were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court today, Monday 7 November.
34-year-old John Maloney of Vauxhall was sentenced to 15 years and six months for robbery and aggravated vehicle taking.
27-year-old Phillip Purcell of Cardiff was sentenced to 13 years and 10 months for robbery and aggravated vehicle taking.
24-year-old John Toohey of Vauxhall was sentenced to 13 years and 10 months for robbery and aggravated vehicle taking.
25-year-old Paddy Doran of Vauxhall was sentenced to 14 years and eight months for robbery and aggravated vehicle taking.
On Saturday 4 June, the four men forced entry to addresses in Blundellsands and Woolton and stole items of jewellery.
At around 11.40am, it was reported that a group of men forced their way into a premises on Burbo Bank Road, Blundellsands and stole a large amount of jewellery before spraying the victim, a woman in her 70s, with an unknown substance, before making off.
At around 12.50pm, a second burglary was reported in Cuckoo Lane, Woolton, during which one of the offenders knocked on the door of a woman who was home with her three children. A further three men forced their way in, injuring the woman.
They then proceeded to make threats towards the woman and children, and searched the house, stealing jewellery and cash.
They made off in the stolen Audi and following enquiries, the car was spotted by officers at Morrison’s supermarket on Speke Boulevard.
All four were arrested in Hale Village a short time later following a pursuit. After an extensive investigation, the men were charged with robbery and aggravated vehicle taking and sent for trial.
Detective Inspector Steve Byrom from Operation Castle said, “It is pleasing to see the sentences handed out to this violent group of offenders today. The four men caused significant harm to their victims on the day in question, and although the physical injuries were not long-lasting, the psychological effects are profound, and we hope this outcome helps with the healing process.
“Following some swift police work, the four were detained before they could cause any more harm, and we will continue to investigate all such incidents of violence and the targeting of people in their homes, which should be places of safety.
“We work hard at Operation Castle to prevent such offences, pursue offenders and protect those people in our communities who may be vulnerable to burglary and other offences at home.
“September’s announcement of a collective decision for police officers to attend all residential burglary reports reflects our own stance on burglary for many years. This is why officers are despatched to all reports of a residential burglary and the attendance of Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) is also requested.
“The force is also committed to supporting victims; ensuring they know where they can obtain emotional and practical support, and where appropriate, referring victims to specialist support services to help them cope and recover.
“Operation Castle is a dedicated team which has seen burglaries reduced by 55% since its inception, but that work continues on a daily basis, and we will continue to respond to all information given on suspected burglaries in Merseyside.
“We are committed to tackling burglary by not only maximising every opportunity to gather evidence, identify offenders and put them before the courts, but also through its partnership approach to prevention.
Always call 999 if a crime is in progress. Anyone with information on suspected burglary offences can also contact Merseyside Police at @MerpolCC on Twitter or Merseyside Police Contact Centre on Facebook.
Alternatively, you can leave information anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You can also use their online form anonymously: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-online
Crime prevention advice can be found at: www.merseyside.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/
Image: (L-R) John Maloney, John Toohey, Philip Purcell, Paddy Doran