Jury begin deliberations in Essex burglary trial

Andrew Maltby, from Newmarket, admitted theft and assault at Ipswich Crown Court.

Jurors have retired to consider verdicts in the Essex burglary case - Credit: Archant

A jury has retired to consider its verdicts on two men accused of being involved in a burglary where an Essex couple were stunned with an electroshock weapon before being tied up. 

Barry Sharp, 45, formerly of Thurston, and Gary Thompson, 46, of Sidney Road, in Ludlow, Shropshire, have denied conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary on November 17, 2018. 

During the trial at Ipswich Crown Court, jurors heard how the couple were at their bungalow home in Halstead Road, Fordham, near Colchester, when two men wearing hi-vis waistcoats arrived in a van.

They pretended to be delivering a bouquet of flowers but when the woman who lived there said they had the wrong address and tried to shut the door, the men barged in and used the stun gun on her.

They pushed her into the living room and asked if she had any money buried in the garden.

When she said no she was allegedly hit in the face causing her to fall onto a sofa.

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

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He struggled with the intruders but was then allegedly 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 which contained cash and two gold necklaces and his hands were tied before the intruders left the property.

Giving evidence during the trial, Sharp, now of Penparc, in Cardigan, Wales, said that on the day of the raid at the bungalow he had arranged to meet a friend for breakfast but had got lost.

He accepted driving past the bungalow in one direction and then turning back and driving past it again at around the time of the burglary but said he didn’t know anything about it. 

Thompson has chosen not to give evidence.

Jurors began their deliberations on Wednesday afternoon and will return to continue on Thursday.