Jailed: Burglars sprayed elderly couple with acid and stole £4,000 in 'terrifying' attack
Three burglars who sprayed acid in the faces of a terrified elderly couple and ransacked their home for jewellery and £4,000 in cash have been jailed.
Acer Bridges, 38, Elias Taylor, 42, and Eddie Jones, 31, pulled up in a stolen Ford Ranger on the morning of January 7 this year, before Bridges and Taylor terrorised the couple in Bridgnorth.
Shrewsbury Crown Court heard that one of the pair rang the doorbell at the house in Queens Road, Low Town, and when a woman answered it she was sprayed in the eyes with an acidic liquid.
The culprits then struck her disabled husband over the head with his walking stick and shook him in his seat, demanding money as his wife fled to the kitchen to tend to her eyes.
The male victim was also sprayed with the stinging liquid, and his wife was beaten with a rubber implement.
At one stage she pretended to be unconscious to try to stop the attack, but one of the attackers picked her up and began to strangle her.
After rooting through the house to collect cash and jewellery, one of the criminals demanded to know if there was a safe. The female victim said there was one in the garage, but that it was empty. She was ordered to show them while having a bladed garden tool held to her throat.
The men, who had also disconnected the phone line so the victims couldn't call the police, left the scene and were later caught by officers at a service station off the M5 with cash, jewellery, face coverings, a knife and WD40.
The acid that was used was not corrosive enough to leave lasting damage to the victims.
Rupert Jones, prosecuting, said: "The male victim said his eyes were stinging and he had a small injury to the top of his head. She had bleeding and bruising to her left eye.
"She said she was terrified that she was going to be killed."
Bridges, of Tardebigge, Worcestershire; Taylor, of Barlestone, Leicestershire; and Jones, from Surrey; had all previously pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, one of possession of criminal property and one of receiving stolen goods.
All three had convictions for theft and other matters, but nothing as serious as this.
Gerard Hillman, defending Taylor and Bridges, said they were both "extremely remorseful", that the attack was "out of character" and that they had been going through difficult times when the crime was committed.
Alexandra Scott, defending Jones, who played the role of getaway driver, said he had not been coping well in custody, and his partner was watching the hearing via videolink and that the impact of this on his family would be "huge".
Judge Peter Barrie jailed all three for eight years.
He said: "You set about doing everything you could to terrify them both so they would show you to their valuables.
"This must have been a terrifying incident for them both and will have had a serious impact."
Judge Barrie also ordered for the cash which was seized to be returned to the victims.
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