22 years for gang who kept victim hostage as home was ransacked
A GANG of robbers who kept a man hostage in his home while they ransacked it looking for money have been jailed for a total of 22 years.
Nicky Griffiths, aged 26, his brother Jeffrey, aged 33, and Robert Stentiford, aged 38, threatened Robert Lewis, who has mental health problems, in his own home and held what he described as a machete against his throat while they searched for money.
The trio ransacked the house, searching the attic and pulling kickboards from furniture to check for cash they wrongly believed was inside the property.
Swansea Crown Court heard the trio went to the house on Pentregethin Road in the early hours of February 4 while Mr Lewis's brother Stephen was working at Morriston Hospital.
Prosecutor Patrick Griffiths said the trio were all under the influence of drugs when they committed the robbery, which they admitted.
They originally pretended to be the police, but when Robert Lewis refused to let them inside, they went to the front door and pulled it from its hinges to get in.
When inside, they kept Mr Lewis in the kitchen, before putting him in an upstairs bedroom while they searched his home.
When they eventually left, Mr Lewis was too scared to contact police and instead waited five hours for his brother to arrive home.
They stole anything they could carry, including coin collections belonging to Mr Lewis and his brother.
A fourth man, David Smith, aged 33, admitted handling stolen goods after they were found in his flat.
Barristers for the Griffiths and Stentiford all asked the judge to take into account the fact the knife was not used in the attack and no physical injuries were caused.
James Hartson, for Smith, said his client was not involved in the main offence and had been bullied into storing the stolen items.
The brothers had also asked for 28 other offences to be taken into consideration in sentencing, many for burglary.
The Griffiths brothers, both of Ffordd y Brain in Ravenhill, were given terms of seven years, Stentiford, of Caldey Place in Blaenymaes, who has a previous conviction for grievous bodily harm, received eight years. Smith, also of Ffordd y Brain, received 16 months.