A TEEN has been jailed after he and another man burst into the bedroom of a couple in their 70s and threatened them with a hammer before ripping jewellery off the woman’s wrist.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named due to legal reasons, entered the married couple’s home via an unlocked back door and subjected them to a terrifying ordeal.

The pair had been on St George’s Road on December 22 last year and had already knocked on one door asking if they could do any guttering work.

Jailing the teen, from Accrington, at Chester Crown Court to four years and eight months, Judge Steven Everett condemned his behaviour as 'selfish, arrogant and violent'.

Jayne Morris, prosecuting, told the court how 20-year-old Thomas Price had been the one brandishing the hammer during the incident at around 4.30pm on December 22 last year.

Winsford Guardian: Thomas Price,20, of Winsford was jailed for his part in the burglaryThomas Price,20, of Winsford was jailed for his part in the burglary

Price himself was jailed to serve six years and eight months when he was sentenced earlier this year.

“The married couple, who have had lived in their home for 20 years were sat in their bedroom relaxing,” Ms Morris said.

“The next thing, the defendant and Price entered, the latter wearing a balaclava and brandishing a hammer.

“Price shouted at them to give them money or he would hit them.”

The couple pleaded with the thugs, saying they were old and didn’t have money, but the pair spent the next 15 minutes ransacking their bedroom.

“Price then told the woman to put her hands in her ears,” Ms Morris added.

“He pulled hard at a gold bangle on her right wrist while this defendant did the same to one on her left.”

Despite bravely trying to take a photo of the males on her phone, it was grabbed from her, while her husband was 'too terrified' to use his to call the police.

They left the scene with both gold bracelets, worth in the region of £1,800, but Price was identified from CCTV as the driver of the van they had been using.

In a personal victim statement, the woman said the incident had left her not being able to sleep and having nightmares.

“I can’t stay in the house on my own and I am terrified they will come back for revenge,” she said.

Philip Clemo, defending, told the court the incident would clearly have had a long-term effect on the couple.

“It is hoped their situation will improve over time,” he added.

“He doesn’t shy away from how awful this is and even called himself a ‘scumbag’ for doing what he did.

“Thomas Price took the lead - albeit they did go into the bedroom one after the other.”

As he told him his fate, Judge Everett said: “You were out looking for work, but also for an opportunity.

“It is undeniable you became aware of an elderly married couple at the address.

“You forced your way into their home where they were relaxing in bed.

“What a terrible thing to do to a married couple in the autumn of their lives.

“A home should be a place of safety, but you and your mate soon changed that.

“It doesn’t bear thinking about, as you pulled on her arms after telling them to be quiet while ransacking their bedroom.

“This was selfish, arrogant and violent behaviour and it has had a massive effect on their lives and those living in that community.

“But I’m sure you didn’t even consider that.”

Despite The Guardian challenging a section 45 order protecting the defendant being named in the press, the application ultimately failed.

Judge Everett said of that: “I overturned an order to name a young offender recently by the name of Noel Reade.

“However, in that case there was a very clear need for the public to know who he was.

“If this defendant had previous convictions for similar matters, it would have been a different matter.

“But he will be going to prison for a considerable amount of time and I believe that is sufficient punishment without the added need to name and shame him as well.”