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Christchurch burglar Jack Dodds branded 'dangerous' and jailed for 11 years

THREE "dangerous" young men who stormed into a couple's house with a knife and stole £1,500 of honeymoon savings have been jailed for a combined 25 years.

Jack Dodds (21), of Bure Lane, Christchurch, got 11 years jail; 18-year-old Joshua Jackson was given seven-and-a-half years; and a third youth aged 16, who cannot be named for legal reasons, got six-and-a-half years at Bournemouth Crown Court.

Because of the nature of the offences and their criminal histories, which included violence and drug use, the trio were assessed as "dangerous" by Judge Stephen Climie.

They were given a three-year extended licence period, so will be monitored by the authorities once they get out of prison.

The court heard the trio had targeted the home for the cash, although it is not known how they found out their victims had the money there.

Bournemouth Crown Court (46141675)
Bournemouth Crown Court (46141675)

Prosecutor Richard Onslow said the victims were tending to their children just before 10pm on 20th May last year when the mother answered the door and was met by three masked men dressed in black with one brandishing a knife.

Mr Onslow said that as they pushed her inside she was cut on her arm by the blade, before Dodds restrained her on the stairs while the other two ran and grabbed her partner, demanding to know where the money was kept.

He led them to the kitchen and after getting the money they punched him unconscious on the kitchen floor before Dodds shouted at the others to go.

The couple's six-year-old son saw his father lying in a pool of blood. His wife said she thought he was dead.

The trio fled the property, in Ferndown, in Dodds' BMW but neighbours had alerted police who quickly tracked the BMW by helicopter.

The trio were eventually stopped on the eastbound A31 carriageway at Ringwood. They were discovered dressed in black and with £1,540 in cash that had been separated into three portions. In police interview all three gave no comment.

At court the couple described how they had been forced to move following the incident and how, just before a trial got underway, they received a warning from police that a kidnap threat had been made against them.

They had to install extra security, suffered sleepless nights and nightmares, and both doubted they would ever get over what had happened.

All three defendants were charged with aggravated burglary. The youth admitted the matter and Jackson, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty on the morning of his trial.

Dodds denied the allegation and a separate matter of criminal damage but he was found guilty of those charges after a trial.

Defence barristers described how each of the defendants had troubled upbringings and were vulnerable people who had been taken advantage of.

They outlined how the trio committed the offence to pay off debts to drug-dealers. Each wrote letters to the judge and the victims saying they were sorry and committed to turning their lives around.

Dodds' mother went into the witness box and tearfully apologised to the couple.

Addressing her son, who she called "darling", and the others, she added: "You need to do prison time. You were wrong in what you did."

Of her son, she said he had been badly affected by the death of a friend and turned to smoking cannabis, which sparked the offending.

"He wasn't brought up like that, I can assure you. I'm so, so sorry," she said.

Passing sentence, Judge Climie said: "There must be a substantial sentence of imprisonment in this case, not only to mark the gravity of what took place but also to reflect the impact on the victim family."

The unnamed youth will serve around half his sentence before being released, while the other two defendants will serve up to two-thirds.

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