'Hand over your keys or we'll stab your kids': Masked gang laughed as they threatened six-year-old boy

A masked gang laughed as they threatened to stab a six-year-old boy during a robbery in Sowerby Bridge this morning.

Tuesday, 11th September 2018, 2:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th September 2018, 2:17 pm
Gratrix Lane

Conor Warrington, of Gratrix Lane, was woken by the smell of burning and voices outside his home just after three o'clock this morning.

-> There was an inferno and every floor above me was gone - Leeds survivor's first hand account of 9/11 attackThe 25-year-old walked downstairs to find five men with covered faces attempting to break into his house and brandishing baseball bats, a blow torch and a machete-like blade.

There followed a five-minute stand-off during which he was told: "Hand over the keys or we'll stab your kids".

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Gratrix Lane

The six year-old son of his partner witnessed some of the commotion. Her two-year-old daughter was staying at her grandmother's.

"It was completely terrifying," Conor said, "I couldn't believe it, it's the worst thing that's ever happened to me.

"I smelt the burning and went downstairs thinking I'd left something on. I looked out of the window and there were these men outside my house, trying to get in.

"They had bats, knives, the lot. They'd tried to do it the quiet way by melting the lock but they had a battering ram and were ready to use it.

"They just didn't care, they weren't scared or panicked, they were laughing and joking. When they saw me they started shouting to give them our car keys."

With his partner on the phone to police upstairs, Conor initially resisted until the gang saw the youngster and threatened to stab him if they got in.

"They said, 'you've got one minute to give us the keys or we'll come in and stab your kids'. They were ready with the battering ram and I just had to hand them over. I dropped them through the kitchen window.

The thieves took a VW Golf R, worth in the region of £26,000, belonging to a friend of Conor's. The car was found in Bradford some hours later.

The family are said to be extremely shaken by the events. Conor's partner Jess Sloane said: "I just feel drained, completed shattered.

"I'm just worrying now, I'm scared that they might come back. Thankfully my daughter wasn't here but my son is really shaken up by it. It's horrible."

A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: "Police were called to reports of a robbery at an address on Gratrix Lane, Sowerby Bridge at 3.13am this morning.

"The suspects attempted to gain entry to the property and made threats to the victim to hand over the keys to a VW Golf parked outside.

"The victim handed over the keys to the suspects who made off in the vehicle in the direction of Burnley Road.

"Officers found the vehicle abandoned in Bradford a short time later.

"Enquiries remain ongoing by Calderdale CID. Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting crime reference 13180452440."