Masked raiders who tied up an elderly woman and ransacked her home out of family heirlooms worth more than £200,000 have been ordered to pay just £1 each.
Eriks Valants, 23, and Jed Martin, 27, were each jailed for ten years last year after stealing precious jewellery, cash, and heirlooms, including a Military Cross medal, from 72-year-old Susan Hunt’s £1million pound home on the south coast.
During the raid, the men bound the pensioner’s hands with black tape and put a pillowcase over her head.
The masked men gave the pensioner water, fruit and a yoghurt, before leaving her six bedroom house – believing she would remain tied up for at least 24 hours.
But Mrs Hunt eventually managed to bite her way through the black tape to free her hands enabling her to call police who dashed to the address.
Valants and Martin, both of Southampton, pleaded guilty to carrying out the robbery in March last year.
Despite a court ruling that the two men had made a combined total of £462,292 from their crimes it found they could not pay back more than £1 each.
Jed Martin (left), 27, and Eriks Valants (right), 23, were each jailed for ten years last year after stealing precious jewellery, money and heirlooms from 72-year-old Susan Hunt’s home
On the night of the break-in, the two men had made four attempts to get into the detached house and cut out a pane of glass from the swimming pool area.
They then shone a torch in Mrs Hunt’s face at 2.30am and demanded she give them the code to her safe while she was lying in bed.
The elderly victim was then marched down the stairs of her countryside home and tied to the bannister and pillow case was put over her head for what ‘felt like hours’.
When police arrived, officers found a knife that had been left outside the property.
The pensioner was left feeling ‘traumatised, disoriented and frightened to live in her home’ after the ordeal on March 23 last year.
The Cartier ring, Omega watch, three-string pearl necklace, and David Morris pearl and diamond necklace with matching earrings, worth around £215,000, were never recovered.
Nor was Mrs Hunt’s father in law’s treasured Military Cross medal from the Second World War, along with a letter signed by King George.
During the sentencing, Andrew Houston, prosecuting, told the court: ‘There was a slight piece of compassion – they asked how long it would be until anyone came, telling her you can live on water for three days [adding] ‘I can’t be unkind, I have to do this’.’
Valants and Martin were each jailed for ten years at Winchester Crown Court (pictured) last year after they both admitted a single charge of robbery
Valants and Martin were each jailed for ten years at Winchester Crown Court in April after each admitted a single charge of robbery.
Proceedings then began to recover funds Martin and Valants had obtained from their offending.
Now a hearing at Winchester Crown Court has ruled the benefit figure for each of their offending was £231,146 – a combined total of £462,292 – but the available amount left was deemed to be zero.
The court decided a nominal £1 charge should be ordered for each, which must be paid within 28 days or seven days imprisonment in default.
However, if any assets are recovered, prosecutors can seek an order in a higher sum.
Source: Daily Mail UK