Grandson found guilty of brutal attack on his grandfather - Cheshunt

23/12/2014

Two men were today, Tuesday, 23 December 2014, found guilty at St Albans Crown Court of attacking a grandfather in his own home in an attempt to steal his savings.

The incident occurred at around 12.30am on Tuesday, 13 May at a property in Penton Drive, Cheshunt. The resident, who is the grandfather of one of the defendants, Jack Sibley, was woken in the night by intruders.

He armed himself with a decorative knife and went onto the landing to investigate.  He was set upon by the two intruders, who disarmed him, assaulted him with the knife and pushed him head first down the stairs.

The two intruders then made off and fled back to Stevenage, empty handed. A neighbour heard the victim calling for help and went to help him. He found the victim at the foot of the stairs in a pool of blood and called the emergency services.

The victim, who was aged 82 at the time of the incident, received significant injuries, which included multiple cuts to his scalp and face, a stab wound to the chest and the loss of a finger. He almost lost a second finger, and also had a dislocated shoulder and facial fractures.

The knife used in the burglary was later found dumped in Great Wymondley.

The incident was investigated by Hertfordshire Constabulary's specialist unit, Operation Manhunt, who investigate distraction burglary and burglary where the victim is aged 70 or over. The team were able to quickly identify Jack Sibley's involvement and made arrests just a few days later. Upon his arrest Jack Sibley had injuries to his arms, which indicated he had been involved in an altercation.

Jack Sibley, aged 21, of Jessop Road, Stevenage was found guilty of conspiracy to rob, causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and doing an act intended to pervert the course of justice by burning the balaclava and gloves he had worn on the night of the incident.  He had previously admitted doing an act intended to pervert the course of justice by hiding the knife used during the incident.

Warren Reid, aged 22, of Seaton Road, Luton was found guilty of conspiracy to rob, causing grievous bodily harm with intent and doing an act intended to pervert the course of justice by hiding the knife used during the incident.

Lorraine Sibley, Jack Sibley's mother and the daughter-in-law of the victim, aged 48, of Jessop Road, Stevenage was found guilty of doing an act intended to pervert the course of justice by lying to police about cuts on her son's hand, which he had sustained during the incident.  She had claimed he had fallen onto some glass.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved the terrifying botched burglary and serious assault of an 82-year-old man in his own home, which could have had far worse consequences.

"Jack Sibley, the victim's grandson, and Warren Reid, Jack Sibley's friend, who were short of money, hatched a plan to steal cash from a safe at the house and even recced the house before the incident to confirm its presence.

"The victim was asleep at home in Cheshunt when he was woken by the sound of intruders.  He equipped himself with a Gurkha knife, which the intruders used against him causing him substantial injuries including the loss of a finger.  They then threw him down the stairs, before brutally assaulting him, leaving him for dead, and fleeing empty handed. The victim lost a considerable amount of blood and it is likely that without timely medical attention he would have bled to death.  It is clear that both men acted together, jointly, to attack the victim and that their intention was to cause him serious harm in order to gain access to the safe in his bedroom.  This was a planned, targeted and violent attack. They are clearly extremely ruthless and dangerous man.

"Both Sibley and Reid admitted carrying out the burglary, but blamed each other for attacking the victim and causing the life changing injuries.  Sibley's mother, Lorraine Sibley, tried to conceal her son's involvement in the incident and lied to police about a hand injury he had sustained.  The jury saw through their lies and found them guilty despite their denials.

"We have worked closely with Hertfordshire Constabulary since this investigation was launched and as a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved for the victim.

"Understandably the events on that day have had a significant impact on the victim both physically and psychologically.  Learning that his grandson was one of the offenders was particularly shocking.  I hope that today's convictions will in some way help him to come to terms with the horrifying events with the knowledge that those that subjected him to the terrible ordeal have been brought to justice.  Our thoughts are very much with him at this time."

All three will be sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, 23 January 2015.