Burglars who used stun gun facing lengthy jail terms

The sentencing of Phong Nguyen, 22, and Tam Nguyen, 26, was adjourned until June at Ipswich Crown Court.

Barry Sharp and Gary Thompson will be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on May 13 - Credit: GREGG BROWN

Two burglars - one a former Suffolk man - who took part in a raid at the home of a terrified Essex couple, who were stunned with an electroshock weapon before being assaulted and tied up, have been warned they are facing lengthy jail terms.

Before Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday (May 12) were Barry Sharp, 45, formerly of Thurston, and Gary Thompson, 46, of Sidney Road, Ludlow, Shropshire.

They denied conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary but were convicted by a jury by 11-1 majority verdicts.

Judge Emma Peters remanded both men in custody and adjourned sentence until tomorrow (Friday, May 13).

She said they had been convicted by “very powerful” circumstantial evidence and warned them they were facing lengthy jail sentences.

She said the offence had “destroyed” the lives of the elderly victims. 

The court heard the victims were at their home in Halstead Road, Fordham, near Colchester, in November 2018 when two men arrived in a van pretending to be delivering a bouquet of flowers.

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When the woman who lived there said they had the wrong address and tried to shut the door the men barged in and used a shock weapon on her in the hall.

They pushed her into the living room and asked if she had any money buried in the garden. When she said no she was hit in the face.

Her husband, who’d been in an outbuilding when he heard his wife screaming, came into the house with a third member of the gang who’d been waiting outside.

He was assaulted before being shocked with the stun gun.

His wife was taken to a bedroom where her hands were tied with cable ties and her head covered with a piece of clothing.

Her husband was forced to open a safe that contained cash and two gold necklaces and his hands were tied before the intruders left the property.

Thompson’s DNA profile was found on cable ties used during the burglary while mobile phone cell site and ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) camera evidence linked Sharp to the offence.

Thompson chose not to give evidence during the trial while Sharp told the court he’d arranged to meet a friend for breakfast near Colchester but had got lost and by chance had been in the area of the bungalow where the burglary took place.