A THUG who terrorised an elderly couple in their own home has been jailed for nine years.
Richard Anderson burst into the pensioners’ semi-detached home in a quiet Sunderland street as they enjoyed a Saturday night in.
The 74-year-old woman and her 76-year-old husband were then subjected to a barrage of horrific threats and violence before being forced to hand over a large sum of money.
The man was hit across the head and the attacker fled the scene.
As police launched a manhunt, the shaken pensioner was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital where he received treatment.
At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, Anderson, 41, of Lilburne Close, in the East End, was found guilty of aggravated burglary in relation to the January incident, and jailed for nine years.
But today, neighbours living close to the couple’s Seaburn home said the sentence was nowhere near enough for the trauma he caused.
Jim Doran, 62, who has lived in Seaburn for 30 years said: “He should’ve got about 20 years as far as I’m concerned.
“For what he did he should have got much longer. They should have hanged him.”
Sylvia Chorlton, a neighbour of the couple, agreed that the sentence should have been longer.
“It should have been 99 years. They should put him away for life.
“For what this man has done and the lives he has affected, it should be so much more.”
NHS worker 43-year-old Natalie Cassidy, was concerned that the man would not do his full sentence.
The Seaburn resident said: “He probably won’t even serve his time. He’ll probably get out on good behaviour or something like that. I think everybody would want him to go down for life.”
Speaking after yesterday’s sentencing, Detective Inspector Paul Woods, who led the investigation, said: “This was a callous attack on an elderly couple who have been left deeply affected by what happened and I’m pleased this man will now spend a considerable time in prison.
“Having your home broken into is incredibly distressing, even worse when threats or violence are involved.
“We will continue to target suspected burglars and seek to put them before the courts to face the consequences of their crimes.”