Jail for fake police “Shining” attackers

HAMMER-wielding burglars who posed as police officers before smashing their way into homes and attacking random people have been jailed for more than 12 years.

Reece Park and Wayne England approached three houses in the Springfield area of Chelmsford as they masqueraded as police officers.

Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday heard pair’s actions had been like the horror film “The Shining”.

Park, 19, and England, 22, prentended to be police officers, with one wearing a hi-vis jacket, but failed to get into the first house as the occupants became suspicious, and raised the alarm.

However at 11.30pm on October 8 last year they forced their way into the home of resident Gary Townsed and attacked him with a claw hammer, causing an inch long wound to his head.


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Mr Townsend was at home watching TV and thought it was his partner returning home when he heard a knock at the door.

The two raiders then “used great force” to push him back inside and demanded cash before swiping at him with the claw hammer.

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Mr Townsend, afraid for the welfare of his two-and-a-half-year-old son, fled to his bedroom and shut the door but the robbers persisted and struck the door with a hammer several times with so much force,

His son was shaken but unharmed.

The raiders then tried to force their way in to the home of Ian Taylor, knocking at the door saying “It’s the police, open up”.

The court heard that when the door was opened Mr Taylor was struck with a claw hammer on his head and shoulder but managed to force the door shut and Park and England fled, who came from the Chelmsford area but had no fixed abodes.

Park, who wielded the claw hammer during the course of the burglaries was sentenced to eight years in prison with an extended licence period of four years.

And England was sent down for four years and eight months with an extended licence period of four years.

The pair, who were fuelled with drugs and alcohol when the incidents took place, were both found guilty of attempted burglary, and two counts of aggravated burglary following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court earlier this year.

They had planned the attacks to get cash to pay their drug dealer and used extreme violence as they carried out their crimes but were were arrested in the early hours of the following morning.

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said: “These men put their victims through a horrendous ordeal, by attacking them in their own homes.

“For Mr Townsend, the events were even more terrifying wondering what might happen to his son.

“We are grateful to the vicitms and witnesses for coming forward and assisting the prosecution in this case. We are pleased this case has been brought to a successful conclusion and that these men can no longer pose a danger to society.”

The court also heard how both men had previous convictions for acts of violence.

Park had a total of 11 convictions for 18 offences, including eight sexual offences and had been in the magistrates’ court for another matter only 9 days before these burglaries took place.

England has 12 convictions for 12 offences and was released from custody only three days before he committed these crimes

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