A man has been jailed for 10 years after a terrifying raid on a Poulton home where a woman was confronted by three masked men in her kitchen.
Lee Carroll and his accomplices demanded cash when they broke into the property on Brompton Road.
A court heard how the trio all had tights over their heads, but the victim was able to see through the “ridiculous” disguise and recognise Carroll and another man.
Carroll has now been given 10 years jail by a judge who told him: “This offence must have been absolutely terrifying for the lady”.
Carroll had had a drink and drug fuelled weekend before he and the other two men struck at an address.
The 30-year-old, formerly of Berkeley Court, Poulton, had denied a charge of aggravated burglary over the events last August, but a jury had convicted him following trial.
Around two months earlier, in June last year, the woman living at the address had got a male lodger to leave because he was smoking cannabis and bringing trouble to her door.
On the night of August 11 she was home alone when she heard her gate banging outside.
And she was terrified to find three men in her kitchen. They were dressed in dark track suits and had tights over their heads.
Michael Maher, prosecuting, said Carroll and another male both had knives.
She described their masks as “ridiculous”. The woman was able to recognise the defendant and another man as having called at her home in the past and being involved in an altercation.
The pair demanded money from her and she was ushered into the lounge.
Mr Maher told the court: “They effectively made more demands for money. She continued to say there was none in the house. No violence was used. Lee Carroll made threats towards her as they left, that they would get her if she contacted the police”.
She was later able to identify him. The other two men have not been caught.
Facebook conversations between Carroll and others supported the conviction that he had been aware beforehand of what was going to take place.
He denied the offence in interview and maintained a denial at trial. His previous offences included a seven-year term for a stabbing, as well as a case of violent disorder at someone’s flat.
Chris Hudson, defending, said Carroll did not accept the conviction in the latest case.
The defendant had twin Achilles heels.
Mr Hudson told the court “He likes the high life. He abuses both drink and drugs, goes on partying and needs the finance to pay for that.”
The barrister added: “He contends that, although he suggested this folly, he withdrew at the last minute. What happened was drug taxing (taking money made from dealing). It was suggested in the trial that the two lodgers had been drug dealing. It was suspected money was at the property.”