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Brothers jailed for masked attack
7:10am Friday 16th August 2013 in News
“I HAVE never been so terrified in my life and was wondering how much blood I was going to lose.”
Those were the words from a couple who woke up in the middle of the night to find masked burglars brandishing knives and threatening to kill them if they did not hand over cash.
Brothers Leslie, aged 21, and Connor Bassnett, aged 18, appeared in Warrington Crown Court on Friday charged with handling stolen goods after Neville and Amanda Cook were subjected to the horrifying ordeal at their home on Thynne Street, just yards from the police station, in November last year.
Three men broke into the couple’s property in the early hours and armed themselves with steak knives from the family’s kitchen before their 28-year-old son woke up and challenged one of the men.
Mr Cook, aged 45, added: “We were defending ourselves in our own home.
“One of them lunged at me a couple of times and I was thinking how much is this going to hurt.
“We could hear our son battling with another man and was wondering what was happening to him but in the end he managed to chase them off.”
Two passports, a visa card, a phone, two sat navs and a laptop belonging to the Cook family were found two weeks later at the home of the Bassnett brothers on Cromwell Court, Arpley Street.
Police discovered the items after being called to the flat following reports Leslie Bassnett had been assaulted by his brother but he refused to make a statement.
Judge Ian Trigger asked if the burglars had been caught or whether ‘Mr Berkson was defending them’ but no charges were brought against the pair for burglary.
Leslie Bassnett had seven convictions for 13 offences and was most recently sentenced to 20 weeks behind bars after choking his dog to death.
Connor Bassnett’s record is worse then his older brother’s as he currently serves a three year sentence for supplying class a drugs.
Sarah Griffin, defending Leslie Bassnett, said he had a difficult upbringing after his mum died aged 11 and he is sorry for his previous offences.
Judge Trigger said he had taken into consideration the ‘upsetting effect’ of the burglary but would not add to Connor Bassnett’s sentence who will not be released until December next year.
Leslie Bassnett was jailed for three months.
SPEAKING after the hearing, Mr Cook added: “I feel angry but you hear their stories and I hope they get the help they need in prison to lead better lives.
“It’s not about punishment, it’s about rehabilitation but we never want to bump into them again.
“We have got locks everywhere now in the house and that’s a reminder every day of what happened.”
The couple praised DC Laura Sadler for her support during the case and said it shows the system works.
They added they wanted to ‘make the area better’ as their neighbours have been burgled too.
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