Two men who carried out a horrifying aggravated burglary have today (Friday 12 February) been jailed for a combined total of 18 years, ten months.
Harrowing footage shows police responding to a distressing 999 call involving a woman who had been threatened to be tied up in her own home and was being robbed at knife-point.
In the Police Interceptors video, the woman can be heard begging for help before units from across Nottinghamshire Police race to the scene in the Fairham Road area of Keyworth.
The victim had been alone at home at around 8.30pm on 7 January 2020 when burglars Alex Longsdale, 29, and Antonio Richards, 33, knocked at her door claiming to be delivery drivers. She was immediately suspicious and tried to pull the door closed but the pair pushed the door open, knocking her to the ground.
Longsdale, of no fixed abode, and Richards, of Queens Court in Newark, then continued to manhandle the victim as she tried to fight them, brandishing a large knife and threatening to tie her up.
Unbeknown to the offenders, the victim had managed to slip her landline telephone into the pocket of her dressing gown and, after being thrown on to the sofa, she had managed to put it behind her back and dial 999 leaving the line open.
The force’s control room was tracing the emergency call while Longsdale and Richards ransacked her house. The pair suddenly heard sirens and fled the property taking with them 48 packs of cigarettes, around £10 in ten pence coins and a pair of UGG boots.
Response officers were the first to arrive and saw the two men running off and splitting in different directions. Richards was the first to be arrested despite him trying to put up a fight which resulted in an officer suffering two broken fingers after being brought to the ground during the struggle.
Police dog Quantum and his handler constable Jen Ellse were the next to arrive and were quickly made aware of the outstanding suspect. Quantum was quickly unleashed and began tracking the offender, leading his handler through hedges, between gardens and over fences.
The footage shows the man being located by the duo lying face-down on the ground and PC Ellse can be heard shouting: “Stay where you are. Now. Stay where you are” amongst PD Quantum’s ferocious barking.
Both men pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary on at previous hearings. Richards also pleaded guilty to police assault in relation to the officers’ broken finger.
At Nottingham Crown Court today, Longsdale received a nine year prison sentence while Richards was also given nine years plus an additional ten months.
The victim had suffered numerous injuries during the attack including a fractured skull, broken ribs and bruising.
Speaking after the Sentencing, she said: “I was incredibly terrified and it was very, very traumatic but I can only think that adrenaline kicked in because I felt this enormous wave of what I can only describe as a survival, and when I started to fight back, I felt no pain. I think this survival instinct is what helped me plan to phone 999 and I’m so glad I did because the police may never have caught them if I hadn’t have done that.
“I’m really pleased to see Richards and Longsdale locked up for this lengthy time. The police have been so supportive all the way through, so kind – ringing me up to see if I’m ok, I couldn’t have wished from more from them.
“I think I will now be able to move forward. Today, I looked them in the face (through video link) for one last time and thought, you are not going to drag me down, I’m now going to get on with my life.”
Detective Inspector Kim Binns, who led the investigation, said: “This was such a distressing incident and we cannot commend the victim enough for her bravely, she managed to guide police to the scene without the armed robbers finding out which could well have prevented a far worse outcome.
“What followed was a multi-team operation with response, the dog team and even the force drone which resulted in both men being arrested almost immediately after the incident.
“My criminal investigation team then carried out all of the necessary enquiries and I’m glad that the pair were quickly charged and remanded in custody as a result of the strength of the evidence and that they are now serving lengthy prison sentences.
“It is beyond belief that these men took it upon themselves to invade this woman’s home in such a violent manner and made her fear for life.
“I hope that she can now move on from this horrific ordeal and get some comfort from knowing her offenders are now behind bars.”