Man punched unconscious after confronting crowbar-wielding burglars outside home

A bungled burglary ended with a man being punched unconscious at a house in Leeds earlier this year.

A sentencing hearing at Leeds Crown Court heard how Sam Oxley, of Conference Road, Armley, punched a man in his garden in Swinnow after arriving in a stolen car with the intention of burgling him.

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A further botched burglary was made on a shop before Oxley, along with Jack Horsley, of Whingate Avenue, were caught by police.

Jack Horsley and Sam Oxley were given combined sentences of eight years imprisonment.

Officers also found weapons, including a machete, in the stolen car that had been driven by the two.

The court heard how, at 11.30pm on May 31 this year, a delivery driver for a pizza takeaway in Swinnow had his Skoda Fabia stolen when he had gone into the restaurant. The car also had the owners mobile phone and bank cards inside.

On June 4, Oxley, 31, and Horsley, 30, drove to a family home in Swinnow. At around 3.10pm, one of the residents went outside to see what was going on, when they saw Oxley and Horsley looking into the study window, with one holding a crowbar.

When the victim confronted the defendants, Oxley asked "what are you going to do about it?", before punching the man in the side of the head, causing him to fall and hit his head on a paving stone.

The court heard the victim was unconscious for around 30 seconds and was later found to be suffering from memory loss and a chipped tooth.

Just before 5am on June 3, the vehicle stopped outside a shop near Whitehall Road, where the two attempted to break in using a crowbar.

The defendants then noticed they were being filmed on a mobile phone by a witness, and immediately got into the car. The defendants also told the person filming that they would come back and "burn his house down".

Oxley was out on licence from a previous offence while these crimes were committed.

The car was later found abandoned by police after the June 4 incident. It contained a crowbar, machete and baseball bat. It was also found to have false plates and to have belonged to the delivery driver.

Oxley had pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm, two counts of attempted burglary, possession of a bladed weapon and theft of a motor vehicle. Horsley pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted burglary, possession of a bladed weapon and theft of a motor vehicle

Mitigating for the two, Anthony Sugare told the court: "They have had to wait a little longer for their sentences but they know they are facing years."

He added that the two pleaded guilty at relatively early stages.

Sentencing the two, Recorder Ian Mullarkey pointed out that Oxley had been out on licence from a previous offence until February 2024, meaning he would have to face a stiffer sentence than Horsley.

Rec Mullarkey added: "This was a planned criminal enterprise to steal from any available premises and to use violence if required."

He sentenced Oxley to five years in prison and Horsley to three years in prison.