Two men have been jailed after a family was threatened with a gun, and two dogs were stolen during a bungled attempt to recover an alleged drug debt.
Richard Savage, supported by his accomplice Ricky Hobson, forced his way into a property in Clater’s Close, Retford, with an imitation machine gun on the afternoon of 27 October last year.
He then threatened to shoot the five people inside unless money was paid to clear part of an alleged drug debt accrued by a man who did not live at the address but who was known to at least one of the victims.
After failing to get the payment they were looking for the pair took an angle grinder and the dogs that had escaped the property through the open door.
The animals were recovered unharmed later that evening in the Maltby area of South Yorkshire.
Savage, 41, had visited Clater’s Close and another nearby address to demand payment some five days previously, and was later identified by a large neck tattoo bearing his own name.
After leaving empty handed he recruited Hobson, 27, to help him to enforce the debt.
The pair were arrested on 30 October and were further betrayed by text and Whatsapp messages found on a mobile phone belonging to Savage.
A third man, 37-year-old Jaheed Rahman, was arrested the following month and later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to blackmail. He admitted to making several threatening telephone calls and sending messages about the debt, before recruiting Savage to help enforce it.
Savage pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, conspiracy to blackmail, and possessing an imitation firearm with intent to case fear of violence.
Hobson, of Brampton Meadows, Rotherham, pleaded guilty to burglary and theft and was jailed for 22 months at a previous hearing.
Savage and Rahaman appeared at Nottingham Crown Court today (18 December) for sentencing.
Savage, of Masbrough Street, Rotherham, was sentenced to nine years and six months in prison.
Rahman, of Ousebarn Street, Sheffield, was sentenced to three years and two months in prison.
Detective Constable Adrian White, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Between them Savage, Hobson and Rahman subjected a wholly innocent group of people to a terrifying ordeal. After various attempts at thuggish intimidation over the phone and on doorsteps failed, Savage and Hobson resolved to burst into family home with an imitation firearm, leaving people in genuine fear of their lives.
“When they realised they weren’t going to get what they were after they stole a power tool in desperation and left the address. It was then they spotted the two dogs who’d wandered out of the property through the open door.
“Ultimately they failed completely in their mission and succeeded only in incriminating themselves and Rahman, who was linked to the offence by evidence found on Savage’s mobile phone. All three men richly deserve the sentences they have received, which I hope will be of some comfort to the victims of this frightening ordeal.”