Knifeman thrust blade at five-year-old and attacked his parents during terrifying raid on their Sunderland home

An armed burglar thrust a knife towards a five-year-old and attacked the child's parents during a terrifying house raid a week before Christmas.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 2:06 pm
Grant Nanson
Grant Nanson

Grant Nanson was first spotted inside the Sunderland family home by a teenage son and his little brother, who called for help from their father.

Newcastle Crown Court heard knifeman Nanson ordered that the dad "give me the money" and then thrust the blade towards the little boy.

When the mum, a nurse who had been sleeping upstairs, heard the commotion in her home and went downstairs, Nanson violently attacked her and her husband.

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The knife used by Grant Nanson.

Before he left the house, with an iphone he had stolen, Nanson warned he had a gun and would be back to kill the family.

Nanson, 28, of Thornhill Park, Sunderland, who has a criminal record, admitted aggravated burglary has been jailed for eight years.

Mr Recorder Mark McKone told him: "You thrust the knife towards that five-year-old boy."

The judge added: "I am sure you can appreciate the terror which must have been caused to those two parents to see their two sons in danger like this.

Nanson left a baseball cap and latex glove at the house, which were linked to him through DNA.

"It is especially serious you used violence to parents in front of a five-year-old and thrust the knife towards the five-year-old."

Prosecutor Jane Foley told the court the mum, dad and two sons had all been at home in the early evening on December 18 last year.

Miss Foley said the teen son and his little brother had been heading toward the kitchen when they saw "a male they didn't recognise, standing in the kitchen holding a knife, a silver kitchen knife".

The court heard the teen shouted for his father, who came into the room and was told by the raider "give me the money".

Miss Foley said the dad told the stranger 'I will give you what you want, just calm down' but added: "The defendant began to thrust the knife towards the young child."

The court heard the teenager managed to get his little brother out of the room and the mum, who had been asleep upstairs in preparation for a night-shift, went down to see what was going on.

Miss Foley added: "She made her way to the living room and stood between her husband and the defendant. As she did, the defendant raised the knife above his head."

The court heard the husband, who believed himself or his wife were about to be stabbed, grabbed Nanson's wrist and got hold of the knife.

Nanson then punched him in the face.

Miss Foley added: "The defendant grabbed the wife by the collar of her clothing and began to drag her towards the kitchen, while punching her to the head and face with his right hand.

"Her husband tried to intervene by grabbing hold of her."

The court heard Nanson then hit the husband again.

Miss Foley added: "By the time he got to his feet the defendant had dragged his wife out of the house and into the rear yard."

The court heard Nanson tried to push the husband to the ground again before climbing onto some wheelie bins, where he stood and shouted "I've got a gun, I'm going to kill you'.

Nanson left a baseball cap and latex glove at the house, which were linked to him through DNA.

In a victim statement, the dad said: "Me and my family have lived at our home for over ten years. This is the first time we don't feel safe.

"I keep having flashbacks to the night we were attacked and what could have happened if one of my family had been stabbed.

"My youngest son is only five years old. In the weeks after he kept asking if the man with the knife was coming back.

"He has become sensitive to things in the house, noises make him feel on edge.

"He no longer sleeps in his own bed. If he wakes during the night he asks if we are alright and if anyone has been in the house."

The mum said in her statement: "I am very shocked and scared. Why would this man do this?

"I am scared this man will come back to hurt me and my family."

The teen son said in his statement: "My brother was on the verge of crying, saying 'help, this man has a knife, help me'.

"My brother is only five."

Glenn Gatland, defending, said Nanson is "full of remorse for what he has done" and is "genuinely sorry".

Mr Gatland said Nanson had built up a significant drug debt as a result of a crack cocaine habit and was receiving demands for repayment.

Mr Gatland said Nanson is now drug free and added: "He is thoroughly ashamed of himself. In particular, he has reflected that he has a girlfriend and a three-year-old daughter and he has thought about the consequences if this had happened at his home.

"He has dwelled long and hard upon that."

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