Burglar jailed over fatal raid
Published 16/12/2011 | 18:02
A violent burglar whose brother was killed during a break-in when a terrified householder fought back with a meat cleaver has been jailed for eight-and-a-half years.
Craig Shaw, 21, was told that the death of his brother Steven was no mitigation for their "sustained and brutal" assaults on a couple who feared for their lives.
Judge Michael Stokes QC, the Recorder of Nottingham, told the surviving brother that taxi driver Xiaopeng Wang had been fully entitled to defend himself, his wife and their two-year-old daughter.
After hearing how Mr Wang was bludgeoned with a wheel brace and saw his wife assaulted after the brothers smashed into the family's home in Bestwood, Nottingham, Judge Stokes described the burglary as "wicked".
Craig Shaw, of St Pancras Way, Derby, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary at a previous hearing, while getaway driver Daniel Vincent Miller, 25, admitted burglary.
The judge, who jailed Miller for three years, told the defendants: "It is difficult to imagine a more terrifying prospect for a young couple in bed in their house, with their two-year-old child, than to hear and see two men breaking into their home and then attacking them in this vicious way. They must have been absolutely terrified."
It was clear from the evidence, Judge Stokes said, that Steven Shaw had been the prime mover in the offence and that he had been handed a wheel brace by his brother before they demanded money.
Addressing Craig Shaw directly, the judge went on: "When you followed him (Mr Wang) into the sitting room in order to get the money... he picked up some sort of cleaver and defended his wife and his child, as he was fully entitled to do."
Prosecutor Ian Way told the court that Miller, of no fixed address, had stayed inside the getaway vehicle during the offence, which occurred in Morrell Bank in the early hours of March 31 this year.
Steven Shaw, aged 32 and from Basford, Nottingham, had punched Mr Wang's wife as she cradled her daughter before pulling her hair to make her watch as her husband was repeatedly assaulted by Craig Shaw.