Pair jailed for terrifying attack on Sunderland couple

James Richardson and Terence Bulmer

James Richardson and Terence Bulmer

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A PREGNANT woman was punched and dragged along by the hair after she was set upon by thugs – all because she had reported a crime.

Jane Arthur feared she was going to lose her baby after she and husband David were beaten, threatened and warned “we don’t call the police in Hendon”.

Mrs Arthur, 44, who was 10 weeks pregnant at the time and, Mr Arthur, 40, were described as “professional, law-abiding people” at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday.

The couple were targeted when they went to a property they rented out in Hendon, because it had been burgled.

After the police had been the couple chatted to their tenant about what had happened and waited for the forensic team to arrive.

Terrence Bulmer and James Richardson then stormed into the house with another man and shouted: “Who do you think you are, calling the police? We don’t call them in Hendon”.

The thugs then started to threaten they would “torch” the couple’s property and kill them both.

As the pair got in their car to drive away, the ignition key was snatched by the gang, leaving them trapped inside and at the mercy of their attackers.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court: “The men began to attack the rear window with their feet. All three males tried to open the doors while the couple shouted that they didn’t want any trouble.

“They began to kick repeatedly at the driver’s side window and smashed it completely.

“They then punched and kicked Mr Arthur in the head through the open window and hit him on the side of the face.

“Mrs Arthur was trying to dial 999 but the third male, who is not in the dock, grabbed hold of her hand, her thumb was bent back and she was punched in the arm, causing her to drop the phone. The same male grabbed her by the hair and tried to pull her out of the car.

“At one point one of the males jumped on the bonnet and began to kick the windscreen, causing it to smash.”

The court heard the couple’s car keys were eventually dropped on the ground and Mr Arthur managed to snatch hold of them, while being continuously beaten.

The couple drove straight to Gill Bridge Police Station for help.

Mr Pallister added: “A police officer saw the car and at first thought it had been in a road traffic accident.

“The officer saw the couple on a bench with their arms around each other, both crying and white with shock.”

Mrs Arthur had a clump of hair pulled out as well as bruising to her thumb and arm. She later needed a scan at hospital after she feared she was losing her baby, but the doctor said the scare was caused by the stress of what happened to her and the pregnancy progressed normally.

Bulmer, 28, of Hendon Close, Sunderland, and Richardson, 32, of Mainsforth Terrace East, Hendon, both pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

The third man has not been brought to justice.

Mr Recorder Keith Miller jailed the pair for two-and-a-half years each. Richardson was given an extra three months consecutive for an unrelated burglary.