A ROBBER who subjected a retired teacher to a terrifying ordeal, beating him up before forcing him to hand over valuables in his own home, is today starting a 15-year extended prison sentence.
Makevelli Anthony Claridge, 38, told the 63-year-old victim he had a knife as he threatened him with a weapon in the dark bungalow just days before Christmas, said Rob Galley, prosecuting.
The teacher, badly bruised and with a blackened eye, handed over cash, bank cards and his car keys and was forced to open two safes in his office.
Claridge had ransacked the teacher’s Acomb home while its owner was drinking mulled wine at his local and pulled the wires from the burglar alarm.
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When the teacher returned at 11.45pm, he attacked him at the front door, knocked him to the ground and punched him repeatedly in the face and upper body while demanding money.
Before leaving with cash, bank cards and his car keys, Claridge also disconnected the phone and told the victim not to do anything for five minutes.
He was on prison parole at the time having been released partway through an eight-year sentence imposed in 2012 for breaking a man’s jaw with an iron bar in an Acomb flat.
But he dropped a bag containing medicine with his name on near the bungalow and police arrested him within five hours.
“It is, in my judgement, a truly shocking case,” the Honorary Recorder of York, Judge Paul Batty QC told York Crown Court. “It must have been truly terrifying, this ordeal, for the 63-year-old householder.”
He jailed Claridge for ten years, plus five years’ extended parole after saying he was a danger to the public.
Claridge, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to robbery. In addition to the conviction for grievous bodily harm, he has a long list of previous convictions for house burglaries and other violence.
York Crown Court heard he told a probation officer he thought he would be “set up for life” if he got the contents of two safes in the teacher’s home.
Mr Galley said they actually contained the teacher’s stamp collection.
For Claridge, Damian Nolan said the weapon was a screwdriver he had picked up in the bungalow. He had not gone there armed, or with the intention of confronting and robbing the householder.
When the teacher appeared, he had attacked him “to buy time so he could secure his exit from the premises,” said the barrister.
He had believed the bungalow was empty and that he would not be disturbed.
Mr Galley said the teacher had popped out to his local on the evening of Sunday December 18, leaving his burglar alarm on.
But when he returned he realised there was an intruder inside because he couldn’t turn his key in the lock. He stepped back from the door, and Claridge appeared.
Because he didn’t have a mobile phone, he had had to go to a call box to ring 999 after the robbery.
Two hours later, Claridge himself rang 999 to make a false report that his bag had been stolen in a bid to cover his tracks. But he had left shoe marks at the scene and some of the stolen items were found in his house.