Would-be car thieves threaten to stab owners

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Police probe
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Have-a-go heroes who challenged two would-be thieves trying to break into their cars in Wigan were threatened that they would be stabbed with a shard of broken glass, a court heard.

Husband and wife Stacy and Antony Gallear and their friend Stuart Morris were disturbed just before 2.30am by the sound of David Wilding and Rebecca McMahon trying their car door handles, Bolton Crown Court was told.

And when the couple and Mr Morris confronted the pair, and tried to keep them cornered until the police arrived, McMahon turned nasty and brandished a piece of broken glass at the householders.

Prosecutor John McGregor said McMahon also shoved Mrs Gallear and ripped out her hair extensions, during the incident on the Hawkley Hall estate on November 15.

The court heard that the thieves claimed they had been to a party in the area, as they tried to walk away.

McMahon also told the householders she was pregnant, on more than one occasion, as they tried to flee from the scene.

Speaking to police later, Mrs Gallear said the pair “had no right” to take things from their cars and she genuinely feared someone was going to be stabbed with the broken glass.

And Mr Morris, in a separate statement, said it was clear “some people were desperate and would stoop to anything to get what they wanted”.

McMahon, 36, of Norley Hall Avenue, was jailed for six months after she pleaded guilty to charges of threatening behaviour with an offensive weapon, assault and vehicle interference.

Jailing her, Recorder Jeremy Lasker said: “It is bad enough for these residents to be confronted in the street in the early hours but they were then threatened with a shard of glass.”

Wilding, 29, also of Norley Hall Avenue, was jailed for 16 weeks, on the vehicle interference offences, and unrelated thefts, at a previous hearing before Wigan and Leigh magistrates.

Geoffrey Lowe, defending, said his client was a qualified chef, with a 13-year-old son, who had fallen prey to a heavy drug addiction after falling under the influence of her former partner and co-defendant.

McMahon wanted to receive a custodial sentence for the offences, the barrister told the court, so she could make a “clean break” with Wilding and move away from the estate where she currently lived in Wigan.

“She knows that she did wrong and she wants to be forcibly disassociated with her partner, who is due to be released in the new year, but move away from this particular area of Wigan,” said Mr Lowe.