Dad jailed for armed farm raid

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A DAD-OF-FOUR who took part in a gunpoint raid at a farmhouse has been jailed for 12 years.

John Naisbitt hatched a plan with pal Abie Stewart to storm a remote property and make off with high-value possessions.

In the early hours of Saturday, March 5, the pair travelled to North Northumberland and carried out the terrifying plot.

The duo targeted an isolated house near Alnwick, making sure the phone lines were cut.

Newcastle Crown Court yesterday heard how a 53-year-old farmer woke to find Stewart pointing a gun at his head.

In the hours that followed the victim was repeatedly pistol whipped with such force he bled heavily and the gun, a Dan Weston gas powered revolver, broke.

During his ordeal the farmer who has been commended by the judge for his bravery, struggled with the intruders and pretended to be unconscious.

Prosecutor Jolyon Perkes told the court the raiders made off with shotguns, mobile phones, a camera and the victim’s Toyota Land Cruiser, which was driven at him as the intruders fled.

They both admitted aggravated burglary.

Naisbitt, 35, of Devon Street, Houghton, was jailed for 12 years.

Judge Guy Whitburn told him: “Between you, you hatched a very complicated and incredibly detailed plan.

“In your own handwriting you wrote out a number of isolated farm houses that could be robbed.

“No doubt you hoped there would be nobody there, but there was and disastrous consequences followed.”

Lee Fish, defending, said Naisbitt, whose mother died last week, has expressed remorse for what happened that night and said it was down to financial pressures.

Naisbitt, who has convictions for being a “fraudster”, told a probation official: “Sorry doesn’t even cover it”.

The judge jailed Stewart, of Thorndale Road, Newcastle, for 11 years with an extended four -year licence period.

The judge told him: “You confronted the farmer, who was in bed asleep.

“You had a mask on and you thereafter pistol whipped him with a gas-powered pistol to such an extent it broke.”