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Latchford man jailed for string of offences at Warrington Crown Court
11:00am Thursday 18th October 2012 in News
A GANGSTER has been jailed for 14 years after torturing a man he wanted to become his drugs mule.
Peter Poole, aged 31, of Clifton Street, Latchford was convicted of a string of offences at Warrington Crown Court on Friday.
They included aggravated burglary, blackmail, possession of ammunition and section 47 assault.
Poole had broken into the home of Anthony Brindley on Oxford Street, Latchford smashing through windows along with three others on April 23 this year.
They were armed with hammers, baseball bats, knives and screwdrivers.
The court heard he believed that Mr Brindley was running a drugs operation of growing cannabis that he wanted to take over.
Mr ?, prosecuting, described how the victim and his lodger were tied up with Mr Brindley then tortured for two and a half hours.
He was beaten with the bats and hammers, while Poole also threatened to use a full kettle of boiling water to burn him.
"He was being targeted," said Mr ?
"There was suspicions of those that came into his house that he had a safe.
"He was beaten and threatened."
Poole, who has a long history of violent burglaries, wore a mask but removed it during the raid.
He then forced his victim to open his safe before storing 650 rounds of live .22 rifle ammunition there.
Mr Brindley was growing cannabis at the property with six plants found by police, although claimed it was for personal use.
Poole told him he would now be growing the drug for his profit, the court heard.
But when the career criminal returned the following day on April 24 there was a confrontation.
Mr Brindley was again assaulted, this time knocked unconscious outside of his home.
An ambulance and police were called with the victim questioned by officers.
He named Poole and the defendant's home address was searched when the safe key and tools taken from Mr Brindley's house were found.
Poole was arrested and picked out during an identity parade.
Michael Scholes, defending, said that Poole had claimed to be elsewhere during the burglary but that was rejected by the jury who found him guilty of four charges.
Judge Nicholas Woodward sentenced Poole to 10 years in prison for aggravated burglary, two years consecutive for blackmail and two years consecutive for possession of ammunition.
Two sentences of 12 months for assault were also passed to run concurrently.
Charges of handling stolen goods and cultivating cannabis were not prosecuted.