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The stuff of nightmares; KNIFEMEN JAILED FOR TERROR BURGLARY FAMILY'S ORDEAL AFTER MASKED RAIDERS BURST INTO BEDROOM.

Byline: ELWYN ROBERTS

TWO masked knifemen who terrified a family in their own home during an early morning burglary have been locked up for eight years.

A judge told heroin addicts Colin Maher and Michael Rhodes that it was "the stuff of nightmares".

Prosecutor David Mainstone told Mold Crown Court how Chantelle Palmer, 20, who was staying the night with her parents in Kinmel Bay, was woken by a bang to find two men in the room - one had a hood covering most of his face and the other had a scarf covering his lower face.

Both were wearing gloves, and one stood over her bed three feet away. He looked at her and told her to give him money.

Miss Palmer sat up and explained that she did not have any and was terrified to see he had a knife with an eight-inch blade in his hand.

"The next thing she knew, he was holding the knife to her throat. She moved her head away and he again told her to give him money," said Mr Mainstone.

She tried to grab her phone but the attacker took it from her and poked her in the knee with the point of the knife three times. He punched her, she bravely hit him back and there was a struggle.

While that was going on, a young woman aged 17 who was also in the room was woken to find a knife being held to her throat by the other man.

"The knife was thrust at her five times before he punched out at her but she pulled her head away and they didn't connect," Mr Mainstone explained.

She heard the first knifeman say that "his boys are outside".

Chantelle's parents heard a commotion and entered the room. Her mother Ananka Palmer saw a man holding a knife at her daughter and then she "felt an arm and something cold across her neck".

Mr Mainstone said: "She realised a knife was being held across her throat. She pushed the man away with both hands, hard. She saw his face was covered and was terrified. She ran out of the room and was shaking."

Her husband Carl Palmer grabbed hold of one of the knifemen and they struggled with each other. But he then lunged at Mr Palmer with a screwdriver in a stabbing motion but he was able to grab the attacker's throat.

It was at that stage that Chantelle bravely took the screwdriver away from the attacker. Both attackers fled in a stolen car.

A television and other property had been taken and their Corsa car had been moved and collided with the porch.

Chantelle later told how she had never been so frightened in her life and her mother told how it had been "by far the worst thing she has ever been through".

Maher, 31, of Princess Street in Rhyl, and Rhodes, 33, of Ellis Avenue, Rhyl, admitted aggravated burglary at the house in Denbigh Circle, Kinmel Bay, in the early hours of May 14 - together with other burglaries - and each was jailed for eight years. Maher also received an addition 18 months for possessing heroin with intent to supply.

Matthew Curtis, for Maher, said that he used heroin from an early age. That night he was under the influence of alcohol, but accepted that did not excuse his behaviour.

Nicholas Williams, for Rhodes, said he moved to Rhyl to make a fresh start. Maher arrived at his home in a stolen car, they shared a bottle of whisky and he recalled little of the night's events but clearly joined in the spree that Maher had already started. He was deeply ashamed. Judge Rhys Rowlands said: "To wake up in a situation such as this, to find someone armed with a knife in the bedroom, not one person but two, must be the stuff of nightmares. It understandably had a profound effect the victims."

He added: "This was truly a terrifying ordeal at the hands of the two of you."

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Colin Maher, 31, (left) and Michael Rhodes, 33, were both jailed for eight years for burglary
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Oct 23, 2013
Words:689
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