Terror raid’s getaway driver caged for 18 years

Crime story
Crime story

A MAN involved in a terrifying gang robbery at the home of a businessman and his wife has been jailed for 18 years.

Paul Hogan was the getaway driver for the masked and armed gang who stormed the couple’s luxury home in Parbold and stole jewellery after tying them up and threatening them with weapons.

The 30-year-old was arrested last September, almost a year after the raid which he committed while on licence from jail for a cash in transit robbery.

Judge Robert Trevor-Jones sentenced Hogan, of Kerris Close, Aigburth in Liverpool, to 13 and a half years’ imprisonment with an extended licence of four and a half years.

“You have a serious record and you are connected to serious offending. This was carefully planed, you had masks, gloves and weapons.”

The judge said that the gang had done research on the property they targeted and “it had been a terrifying experience” for the victims.

He described the offence as “a joint enterprise” and said that Hogan had clearly known what his accomplices were doing.

Hogan, who has other convictions for aggravated burglary involving the theft of £60,000 worth of watches, wounding and assault, pleaded guilty to the robbery on the day his trial was due to start earlier this month.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the couple were robbed by a gang of five or six men, one of them received a 15-year term a year ago after admitting his involvement.

The gang struck at the self-employed businessman’s large home in Parbold mid-evening on October 28 2013 while they were watching television in a raid described as “sophisticated, planned and well executed.”

The couple heard repeated banging at the front door and it was then kicked open and a gang wearing dark clothing burst in demanding to know where the safe was.

The businessman’s wife then had a knife with a 6ins blade held to her throat and while she was screaming hysterically in front of him her arms and legs were bound by gaffer tape.

Her husband was frogmarched to the safe in the garage and, while there, one of the gang members picked up the victim’s screwdriver and as he held this in his mouth, while later helping tie him up with more gaffer tape, his DNA was later found on it.

The raiders grabbed expensive jewellery which also had great sentimental value and an iPhone.

They were not content with the cash from the safe and the businessman, who was kicked in the ribs, found another £700 in the house to appease them.

Before leaving with their haul they demanded the keys to his wife’s BMW car and drove away in it.

The couple managed to free themselves and raise the alarm and a police officer spotted the car shortly afterwards driving at high speed in Alder Lane, Parbold and gave chase.

The gang abandoned the vehicle, with the engine still running and escaped.

The court heard that the couple had been badly traumatised and have since had to sell up.