Dognapper stole disabled grandad’s pet during violent home raid

A dognapper stole a disabled grandad’s pet during a terrifying robbery at his home.

Thief Michael Hancill went to the victim’s home home to confront him over a “perceived grudge” and armed himself with an axe.

During the violent confrontation in Sunderland in November 2018, the 37-year-old raider took the man’s car, bank cards and left with the pet, which was sold on and has never been found.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim, who has health problems including arthritis, suffered minor cuts during the ordeal.

Hancill, of Tow Law, Durham, who used the victim’s bank card at Asda and McDonalds after the raid, was convicted of robbery and two offences of fraud after a trial.

Judge Edward Bindloss sentenced him to seven years behind bars with a lifelong restraining order to keep him away from the victim.

The judge told Hancill: “The complainant was at home on his own on a late winter evening.

“You turned up with a perceived grudge of some kind and it ended up with him being injured by the axe, receiving minor cuts.

“You took money, cards, his vehicle and his dog.

“The dog is now lost, you having sold it and the vehicle was damaged.

“The bank cards were used in Asda and McDonalds.”

The victim said in an impact statement the robbery “has really affected my health and my quality of life” and added: “I am fearful to leave my address.

“My grandson can no longer stay at my address overnight, I am fearful they may return.

“I suffered financially and was unable to buy Christmas presents for my grandson and unable to fill my car with fuel.”

Jeremy Barton, defending, said Hancill, a former plasterer, has “many positive attributes” and did not have an easy background but is “capable of leading a meaningful life”.

Mr Barton said Hancill has done well in custody and enrolled in programmes and work.

He added: “He knows he is going to prison for a considerably long period of time and he accepts that.

“There is another side to this defendant, a more positive side than was seen on the date of these offences.”

Chronicle Live – Sunderland