A BURGLAR who smashed his way into a house wielding a meat cleaver told the terrified family inside: “Get back, or I’ll chop you up.”
Sheffield Crown Court heard Connor Burgin (20) threatened a man and his two step-daughters after bursting through the back door of their home in Thurcroft.
Burgin, who was with an accomplice, told them: “We have come for the money in the tin.”
Mr Ed Moss, prosecuting, said the robber — who was masked and holding the 12-inch cleaver — told one of the women: “If you don’t get the money, I’m going to chop your dad into pieces.”
He then held a knife to her throat while he made her search drawers upstairs for money.
Burgin told her: “Don’t call 999 or I’ll cut your f***ing throat”, Mr Moss said.
Burgin’s accomplice took £5,000 from a drawer and was heard on CCTV to say: “It’s not all there.”
Mr Moss said the cash taken in the raid — at about 1.45pm on February 15 — was savings the family intended to put towards university fees.
Burgin, of Rotherham Road, Dinnington, and his accomplice, who has not been caught, fled in a Ford Fiesta with fake plates.
The registration number was circulated among the police and the Fiesta was spotted later that day on West Bawtry Road in Rotherham, said Mr Moss.
The car sped off and tried to head down an alleyway but stopped when it crashed into a gate.
The court heard the passengers had fled on foot but Burgin, who had tried clambering over the driver’s seat to get out, had been caught.
Officers searched the car and found £1,866 in cash along with a balaclava and the sledgehammer used to break into the house.
Both stepdaughters told police that they no longer felt safe in their own home.
Burgin, who had four previous convictions for 11 offences, admitted aggravated burglary and possession of an offensive weapon.
Mitigating, Mr Richard Barradell said there had been others involved in the burglary and Burgin had gone along trying to impress them.
“The reality is he was showing off in front of the others, who, he tells me, are older and more criminally sophisticated,” said Mr Barradell.
He said Burgin bitterly regretted what he had done.
Judge Graham Reeds, who jailed Burgin for eight years and four months, told him: “You are a young man, but you are well on your way to becoming a serious, violent criminal.”
He said Burgin had taken part in a “well-organised and ruthless” attack on an innocent family.
“Your actions caused significant trauma to these victims,” he added.
Judge Reeds said if Burgin had been older, he would have locked him up for 15 years.