Dad begged for mercy as callous robbers targeted Leeds family home

Paul Ewart.
Paul Ewart.

A DAD begged masked robbers not to harm his wife and son when they targeted a family home in an affluent Leeds suburb.

A court heard the father was ordered to get on his knees before he wife was forced to go into a bedroom alone to handed over jewellery.

Their 13-year-old son was also confronted during the incident at the five-bedroom house in Bramhope.

Leeds Crown Court heard Paul Ewart and another unidentified man deliberately targeted luxury homes.

The pair burst into the house around midnight on June 18 this year as the mum and dad were in the living room and their son was upstairs in bed.

They kicked down the door to the living room and ordered the dad to kneel on the floor and look down.

His wife ran from the house and tried to ring police on her mobile phone but was chased and caught by one of the robbers.

He smashed her phone before ordering her upstairs to a bedroom.

The woman was forced to hand over jewellery, including her engagement ring.

Duncan Ritchie, prosecuting, said the dad offered Ewart money not to harm his wife or son.

Ewart responded by picking up a heavy crystal vase and threatening to hit him with it.

The two men ran off but Ewart was linked to the robbery after his blood was found at the scene.

Items from the robbery and other property taken during a spree of burglary and fraud across Leeds and West Yorkshire were found at his home on Elmete Way, Roundhay.

Ewart pleaded guilty to robbery.

He also pleaded guilty to nine offences of burglary and five offences of fraud.

Ewart has 42 previous convictions.

He was out of prison on licence for an offence of burglary at the time.

Sean Smith, mitigating, said Ewart committed the offences when his life spiralled out of control due to family problems after being released from custody.

Mr Smith said the offences were committed to pay for drink and drugs.

He added: “He wanted some form of oblivion.”

Ewart was jailed for nine years.

Recorder Toby Wynn said: “You are basically too selfish and lacking in empathy to care about other people, and that is why you commit these crimes.

“This man pleaded with you not to harm his wife and not to harm his child.

“Instead you armed yourself with a lethally heavy weapon and went as if to strike him.

“If you chose to inflict or threaten violence on law abiding families in their own homes so as to steal from them, you can expect to receive substantial sentences far in excess of what you have received in the past for callous burglaries.”

Detective Inspector Simon Jessup, of Leeds District Crime Team, said: “Ewart put this family through an absolutely terrifying ordeal, the traumatic effects of which are likely to stay with them for some time.

“He is a prolific offender whose crimes have had a negative impact on the lives of many people, and he has repeatedly shown a complete disregard for his victims.

“We hope the fact he has now been brought to justice and received a significant prison sentence will provide some degree of comfort to them.”