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25 January 2013, 15:18
A 23 year-old man who broke into a house in the town late at night, where a Bedford family were asleep, has been jailed for six years.
Ashley Radley, 23, was part of a gang of men who smashed their way into the house in Garfield Street in December of last year.
He was armed with a knife and, in the violence that followed, a woman was cut to the hand and her young son was pushed aside by the defendant.
Luton Crown Court was told it was on December 17 last year at around 11.40pm when Radley and four others turned up at the home of a couple and the woman's two sons aged 7 and 4.
The court was told the background to the break-in was the belief that the man living there had been dealing in drugs.
Radley, of Alburgh Close, Bedford, was with four others, who were all armed.
This week, he pleaded guilty to an offence of aggravated burglary and an offence of possessing a small amount of cannabis found on him when he was arrested.
Mr Justice Wilkie, hearing the case, was told that having got into the property, Radley came up the stairs shouting "I've come for the money, where's the money?'
The court heard that when the woman tried to get hold of the knife the defendant had, she received cuts to her hand.
He grabbed her by the hair and pushed her 7 year old aside.
He was also heard to shout out "I am going to kill your missus!"
At one point, the woman took off a Rolex watch she was wearing and gave it to the defendant, who eventually left the property.
By the time police arrived, Radley and the others had fled, but he was found in a nearby garden along with the Rolex watch.
Passing sentence, Mr Justice Wilkie told him: "You, in company with four others, gained entry by smashing down a door. You seem to have been in the forefront because you were the first person observed by the occupant."
He jailed Radley for 6 years.