Child told armed burglars 'please don't hurt my dad', court told

The children had "eyes bolt open, sweat pouring off of them, shaking, one of them screamed out, 'Please don't hurt my dad'."

Child told armed burglars 'please don't hurt my dad', court told

A launderette owner's child screamed "please don't hurt my dad" as a gang of masked burglars armed with axes and hammers broke into their flat in Exxex, England, and attacked him, a court has heard.

Claire Carter, who runs Baylee's launderette with her partner Daniel Wood, said they were in their flat above the business with two of their three children, aged 13 and four, when she heard a noise.

"Then I heard, 'Armed police, armed police, get on the floor'," she told Basildon Crown Court.

Ms Carter said she went downstairs to the first-floor lounge and saw a man shutting the blinds and her partner flat on the floor with two men on top of him.

Five men wearing black had come into the flat on the evening of December 4 last year, she said.

"I thought it was the police at first until I saw axes," she said, adding: "They had axes and hammers."

"I ran straight over to the kids," she said. "I put my dressing gown straight over the kids.

"Danny said, 'Do as they say' and they pushed me back, pushed me into the bedroom."

'Five f****** seconds sweetheart'

The men were shouting "where's your money, where's your f****** money, money under the floorboards", she said.

"Danny was screaming, 'I've got nothing, I will give you everything'," she said.

"I could hear Danny screaming... I heard a lot of banging and I heard him screaming, shouting, begging."

She said of her two children:

They were just eyes bolt open, sweat pouring off of them, shaking, one of them screamed out, 'Please don't hurt my dad'.

A man said "you've got five f****** seconds sweetheart, five f****** seconds", she said, adding that he pointed a gun directly at her 13-year-old daughter and started counting down.

"The gun at first was being held on the side of my head," said Ms Carter. "He was saying, 'Come on sweetheart, where's the money, where's the money under the floorboards?'

"He pointed it at my daughter."

Prosecutors say it later emerged that the weapon was an imitation firearm.

Christmas shopping money

Ms Carter said her partner told the men there was money in a wardrobe, and she estimated there was "about £2,000" there for Christmas shopping.

There were flashing blue Christmas lights in the flat behind the blinds, she said, and she heard one of the men shout "police" before they fled.

She said she screamed out of a window for help and neighbours took them into their house until police arrived.

One of the intruders, later identified as Paul Robertson, 39, was found dead at the bottom of the stairs.

Jurors were earlier told that three men have admitted their roles in the burglary, and two more are standing trial.

Defendants Michael Williams, 36, of Milton Keynes, and 31-year-old Christopher Salvador, of Watford, who are on trial, deny aggravated burglary and possession of an imitation firearm during the time of an offence.

Prosecutors allege Williams and Salvador played supporting roles.

When asked by prosecutor Cyrus Shroff, Ms Carter accepted she smoked cannabis from time to time and had a small amount in the house.

Lawyer Kyri Argyropoulos, for Williams, put it to Ms Carter that her partner Mr Wood "deals drugs from Baylee's, doesn't he?"

She replied: "No way is there drugs coming in and out of my house."

In a police video interview, the 13-year-old daughter of Ms Carter and Mr Wood said the intruders were "moving in and out of every single room as if they knew the house".

"They said, 'It's nothing to be scared of, it's just something to do with your dad'," she said.

The trial continues.

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