Burglar chased off by knife-wielding women has his sentence cut

Leicester Crown Court
Leicester Crown Court

A burglar from Lytham who was chased off by two knife-wielding women after a violent raid on the home of a wealthy gold dealer has had his jail term cut on appeal.

Paul Craig Grimshaw attacked jeweller Nigel Blackburn, 57, at his home in Hemington, near Castle Donington, Leicestershire, with a taser gun, after disguising himself as a courier to gain access, in June 2013.

But Mr Blackburn’s brave fiancee, Pranee Rice, 30, and her friend rushed to the rescue, having armed themselves with kitchen knives, forcing the raider to flee empty-handed.

Grimshaw, 26, of Victory Boulevard, Lytham, was jailed for eight years after pleading guilty to aggravated burglary and carrying a firearm with criminal intent at Leicester Crown Court in December last year.

Now, Mr Justice Simon and Mr Justice Supperstone, sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, have cut his sentence to six years, after hearing that he was pressured into committing the burglary by a criminal gang.

The court heard Mr Blackburn’s screams of pain alerted his fiancee and her friend, who armed themselves and chased Grimshaw from the house.

The scene was caught on CCTV and the Crown Court judge praised both women for their actions.

Grimshaw pleaded guilty on the basis that he had been “forced to commit the offence by a criminal gang and was concerned for the safety of his family”, Mr Justice Supperstone said.

The judge added the prosecution accepted Grimshaw’s account and that, while the raid had been a “well planned professional job”, he deserved some further credit for the pressure he was under.

“This was not a normal case.

“He involved himself in a criminal enterprise not of his own making. The judge didn’t give sufficient credit for the pressure the prosecution 
accepted the appellant was under.

“We see this as a wholly exceptional case, and a sentence of six years will be substituted for the sentence of eight years,” the appeal judge concluded.