Toilet used by gang to beat couple in home

Four men have been jailed after attacking a man with a toilet cistern in his own home.
Four men have been jailed after attacking a man with a toilet cistern in his own home.

A couple were beaten with a toilet cistern after a gang of four men burst into their home in a dispute over the sale of a dog, a court heard.

Simon Smith, 29, of Artle Place, Lancaster, Lee McGinley 24, of Arkholme Court, Morecambe, John Smith, 28, of Earl Street, Lancaster and Gary Hall, 28, of Ryelands Road, Lancaster, were jailed for two years over the attack at a family’s home.

They admitted charges of unlawful wounding, and actual bodily harm. Smith, Smith and McGinley also admitted assault by beating.

Preston Crown Court heard how on February 1, 2013, all four went to a pub and, in drink, arranged to go to the victims’ home.

The victims, a couple, were at home with their children aged 16, 15 and 10.Judge Christopher Cornwall said: “Underlying these offences was a dispute and the sale of a dog and the collection of payment for that purchase.

“ They were behind the security of their locked doors and windows when some time shortly after midnight in what must have been a terrifying experience for them, the four of you burst into their home.

“The window was shattered and the door was kicked off its hinges.

“The family were upstairs in bed. That didn’t deter any of you climbing upstairs and carrying out a short lived but vicious assault on them.

“The victim was kicked and beaten with a ceramic cistern from the lavatory and punched.

“His partner was punched and kicked and the older daughter was struck with a blow in her eye.

“After terrifying this family for a matter of minutes, you all left, issuing a chilling threat if police were called you would return.”