A LEAMINGTON man involved in robbing a family at knifepoint in their own home in a bid to pay off a debt to his accomplice has been jailed.
Rundeep Singh Bagga had pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to robbing Deborah Barr and her son’s girlfriend Georgina Woolley at her home in Thorntons Way, Nuneaton.
He had been arrested after being named by the other robber, Leamington bar manager Richard Hawkins, who had also agreed to give evidence against him.
But after changing his plea to guilty Bagga, 27, formerly of The Mews, Hyde Place, Leamington, was jailed for eight-and-a-half years.
Prosecutor James Dunstan said that in November 2010 Deborah Barr was in the kitchen of her home with her 18-year-old daughter Stacey and Miss Woolley, aged 19, at around 5.50pm.
Suddenly two men wearing balaclavas and brandishing kitchen knives with ten-inch serrated blades, which Hawkins had bought earlier, burst in through the back door.
Hawkins, who had also bought two sports bags, went to Georgina, raised the knife above his head and shouted at her to get down on the floor.
Meanwhile Bagga grabbed Deborah Barr by her arm and threatened her with the knife while demanding money.
Hawkins went towards them, telling Debroah and her daughter not to scream, and told Bagga to ‘watch her,’ but as Bagga went towards her she managed to run from the kitchen and out of the front door.
Bagga grabbed Georgina and Deborah’s handbags from the table and they robbers fled with them to Hawkins’ VW Sirocco and drove off.
Deborah, whose handbag and contents, including a large amount of cash, was worth £1,360, ran after them, and by chance they were seen by her brother Daniel Barr who managed to get the car number.
As a result the police stopped Hawkins just over two hours later as he was on his way to buy stock for the Ocean Bar in Leamington, which he managed at the time, and found a total of £3,506 and one of the knives in the back of the car.
Because of his co-operation and guilty pleas Hawkins, then 25, of Prospect Road, Leamington, was given a lenient 28-month sentence in May last year, said Mr Dunstan.
He added that Bagga, who had previous convictions for affray and in November 2007 was jailed for three years for drug dealing and counterfeit currency offences, had £1,030 seized from him by the police – which Judge Richard Griffith-Jones ordered to be confiscated as the proceeds of crime.
Devon Small, defending, said Bagga had become involved because he had borrowed £1,000 from Hawkins who was putting him under pressure to take part to repay the money.
Mr Small said Bagga had joined the Army eight years ago and served in Northern Ireland, and everything seemed to be going well for him after he left and he was on course to take up a place at Leicester University to study physiotherapy, but then ‘got in with the wrong crowd’ including Hawkins.
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