An armed raider is behind bars after using a machete and a pick axe handle to smash his way into a stranger’s home in the dead of night.
Marc Ridley, 29, has been jailed for more than six years after leaving his victim terrified following the incident in Hetton-le-Hole in the early hours of May 18.
After the 58-year-old refused to lend him £20, Ridley saw red and smashed his way into the address – showering her living room in glass.
With the frightened resident already on the phone to police, Ridley left empty-handed and was subsequently arrested in the street. In interview, he told officers that he “would have robbed” his victim if he had the chance.
Ridley, of The Avenue, Hetton-le-Hole, also smashed the window of a second address in the town after believing some rival “divvies” lived there – but got the wrong house.
On Friday (August 21) he pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, criminal damage, possessing an offensive weapon and possessing a bladed article when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court.
He was subsequently jailed on the same day for six years and eight months.
Detective Sergeant David Reeves, of Northumbria Police, has today (Tuesday) condemned Ridley’s actions and praised his victims for their bravery.
“It is difficult to comprehend what was going through Marc Ridley’s head on the morning in question,” Det Sgt Reeves said.
“His behaviour was absolutely appalling as he knocked on a stranger’s door and asked for money. When they refused, he then returned a short time later armed with a machete and a pick axe handle and forced his way inside.
“A short time before, he also smashed the window of a family home after believing somebody he claimed to have bullied him lived there – but got the wrong house. His trail of destruction caused a huge amount of upset and anguish.
“I would like to thank his victims for their cooperation throughout this case and there is no question that Ridley deserves this significant custodial sentence. There is absolutely no place for behaviour like this in society.”
The court heard Ridley first approached the 58-year-old’s home shortly after midnight but left when she pointed out what time it was.
Ridley then went to the other address where he thought somebody who had previously bullied him resided, smashing the window, before returning to the first house and asking his victim for £20.
When she refused and closed the door, the incensed raider smashed her living room window before forcing his way into her home – banging his weapons on furniture and leaving the occupant terrified.
After realising that his victim had already rang police, Ridley left empty-handed and was arrested in the street by officers.
In interview, he told officers he had been “p***** off” by the woman’s refusal to lend him money and showed little remorse, claiming “if I’d had the chance I would’ve robbed her.”
In a statement prepared for court, the victim in her 50s said she has “felt vulnerable every day” since the incident.
She said: “I get flashbacks about it and don’t feel safe anymore and I want to move out of the area. I keep myself to myself and to be attacked like this in my own home is outrageous.”
Ridley now begins a long stretch behind bars.