Duo jailed for robbery and burglary after they forced their way inside an elderly couple home in Chatham

Screenshot 2020 09 03 at 13.52.07

Two robbers who broke into the home of an elderly couple in Chatham have been jailed.


Mark Bishop, 41, of Bostall Hill, London, and Darren Donnelly, 44, of Abbotts Close, Thamesmead, were sentenced after they were both charged with robbery and burglary.

Bishop denied the charges but was found guilty by a jury on 28 August 2020.


Both men were sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on 2 September with Bishop being handed a seven-year sentence and Donnelly being jailed for six years.


The duo were jailed after they forced their way inside a home at around 3.20pm in Star Mill Lane, Chatham, on 2 July 2019.


When inside the house they assaulted a man in his 70s by punching him in the face several times. A woman in her 60s was also punched in the face while a second woman was threatened.


The pair then stole a mobile phone and a set of car keys belonging to a Mercedes which they then drove to Nuthatch, Longfield, where at around 4.45pm they burgled a house and stole jewellery before driving away.


Both incidents were reported to Kent Police and at around 5pm the vehicle was seen by police officers in Green Street Green, Longfield, before it was able to evade officers.


Further enquiries led police to the vehicle where it was found abandoned in a car park in Woolwich at around 5.45pm.


Both men were arrested in the High Street at around 7pm after police were called to a disturbance at a pub.


As part of the investigation officers reviewed CCTV and both Bishop and Donnelly were seen approaching the house in Chatham before the stolen car was then seen on further CCTV in and around Woolwich High Street.


Dash cam footage was also handed to police following a media appeal and this showed Bishop driving the stolen vehicle earlier that day in Green Street Green. They were subsequently charged with the offences.


Investigating officer Detective Constable Dan Bister said: ‘These men targeted an elderly couple in a frightening and violent incident before stealing their vehicle and using it to commit a further crime nearby.


‘They attempted to evade officers and were brazen and did not try to conceal their identity during these