We don’t feel safe any more, says family hit by gang

THERE was uproar in court as four members of a gang of houseburglars were jailed for four years each.

Family and friends of Robert Philpotts, 28, Stuart Philpotts, 27, Anthony Niland, 25, and Richard Welsh, 22, yelled at Judge Jonathan Durham Hall, who said the sentences were meant to be harsh.

He had earlier been told the family whose home was targeted no longer felt safe there.

A court heard the four targeted the house in Rochdale road, Greetland, in broad daylight.

The family were not in at the time but the raid left their seven-year-old daughter too scared to return.

Stuart Philpotts knocked on the front door and when there was no answer the other three joined him and they forced the back door.

They ransacked the home, causing £2,000 damage.

A neighbour, who saw the gang, rang police who caught the four in the act.

They escaped through the living room windows but were caught by police sniffer dogs, hiding in nearby gardens.

In a statement to Bradford Crown Court, the family told how they were grieving for a recently deceased grandparent and this was a “kick in the teeth”.

The statement continued: “The fact we no longer feel safe in our family home is a massive blow”.

Judge Durham Hall told the gang: “Your attitude to the offence is truly horrific. You attacked with venom and caused extreme damage, some of it clearly callous and unfeeling.

“This was a genuine family who had taken pride in making a safe family home. People who, unlike you, have worked hard.

“The sentence cannot distinguish between any of you. It is meant to be punitive and harsh and it’s meant to deter others who think it’s appropriate to wreck and smash the peace and ideals of family homes.”

Robert Philpotts, of Laisterdyke, Bradford, Welsh, from Tyersal, Niland, of Laisterdyke, and Stuart Philpotts were led away to shouting from the gallery.