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5 June 2016, 09:09 | Updated: 5 June 2016, 09:28
Three men from Sussex, who used a shotgun to terrify people living in Medway, have been jailed for 22 years between them.
Joseph Walsh, 21, and Nathan Odgers, 30, both from Hastings, and Benjamin Hunnisett, 18, from Hove, admitted charges of aggravated burglary, attempted aggravated burglary and possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Odgers also admitted dangerous driving, possessing cocaine with intent to supply and possessing heroin. Hunnisett also admitted possessing cocaine and cannabis.
Maidstone Crown Court heard how the trio had targeted two homes in the early hours of October 20 2015. They had covered their faces with balaclavas and armed themselves with a shotgun.
First they targeted a flat in Langdon Road, Rochester, where a woman and her son were inside. They used a baseball bat to try and gain entry through the communal front door and were also seen pointing a gun and shouting about ‘shooting’ the people inside. It was only when her son confronted them that the trio ran away.
Around half an hour later they went to a flat at Hever House, Cypress Court, Strood, where a woman was awoken to find the trio inside in the hallway. They were armed with pieces of wood and demanded to know where the food was. The woman told them to get out of her house in which they left.
Officers followed the trio as they left in a van. They turned into a dead end in Priestfield Road, Gillingham, and the three men ran off. A police dog was used to find Odgers who was hiding under a bush. Hunnisett and Walsh were also arrested.
Inside the van officers found a Beretta semi-automatic shotgun. It was not loaded and there was no ammunition in the van. Officers also found photos on Odgers’ mobile phone of him and Walsh posing with the gun.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable, Michael Champion, said: "This was a terrifying experience for the residents who were targeted in this senseless and violent act and I am pleased these three men have been brought to justice."
Odgers was sentenced to 10-and-a-half years in jail, Walsh to seven-and-a-half years and Hunnisett to four years in youth custody.