Gang jailed for sledgehammer attack on elderly burglary victim in Essex

Chelmsford Crown Court

Chelmsford Crown Court - Credit: Lucy taylor

A trio of men who hit a 73-year-old man in the face with a sledgehammer while breaking into his home have been jailed for more than 24 years in total.

Justin Weirich

Justin Weirich - Credit: Archant

The gang were sentenced yesterday at Chelmsford Crown Court for the attack on Ken Sargeant in Meadow Way, Jaywick, in the early hours of October 16 last year.

Rikki Georgiou, 24, of Alvis Avenue, Jaywick, Darren White, 24, of Mendlesham Close, Clacton and Justin Weirich, 26, of Starfield Road, Shepherds Bush, had all admitted aggravated burglary at an earlier hearing.

Russell Butcher, prosecuting, told the court during the burglary: “They kept punching him shouting ‘where is the money, where is the jewellery?’.”

They had also admitted a charge of wounding with intent after stabbing Will Hay with a screwdriver and hitting him with the sledgehammer outside the Brewers Arms pub in Brightlingsea earlier the evening.

Darren White

Darren White - Credit: Archant

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Both victims were taken to hospital with multiple injuries, including one with a punctured artery and the other a ruptured spleen, and the court heard both still have trouble sleeping and find it hard to go outside.

The court was told all three had been drinking and on drugs at the time of the offence, while White was going through a personal tragedy at the time.

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All three have been working to improve themselves while in custody on remand, which was praised by Recorder Christopher Chandler.

Weirich, who was on licence for an offence of robbery at the time of the attacks, was given eight years two months for the aggravated burglary and four years’ prison to run concurrently for the wounding charge.

Rikki Georgiou

Rikki Georgiou - Credit: Archant

White was given eight years and four years’ jail respectively, again to run concurrently.

Georgiou received the same, but was also sentenced to three months’ prison to run consecutively for a burglary offence where he stole clothes worth thousands of pounds from Parker’s Garden Centre in Kirby Cross on November 7 last year.

Recorder Chandler said: “This was a horrible night’s work, disgusting.

”Whilst you all say you were under the influence of various drugs and alcohol it does not excuse the behaviour at all.

“I am pleased to see in the 12 months or so you have been in custody you have been making good use of the time, and I recognise the remorse that has been expressed by all three of you. You are better able to acknowledge the consequences of what you have been up to.

“You have some hard work to do.”

Georgiou now has 21 convictions for 32 offences, White 31 convictions for 47 offences including and Weirich has 12 convictions for 20 offences.

No order was made for costs or compensations, with a Proceeds of Crime Application being ruled as a “waste of public money”. All three will have to pay a compulsory £120 victim surcharge.

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