Robber armed with an axe stole Sunderland man's dog, car and bank cards during terrifying raid

A disabled grandad's pet dog was stolen during a terrifying robbery at his home.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 4:23 pm
Michael Hancill

Michael Hancill had gone to the victim's house in Sunderland in November 2018 to confront him over a "perceived grudge" and armed himself with an axe while he was there.

Newcastle Crown Court heard during the violent confrontation 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.

The court heard the victim, who has health problems including arthritis, suffered minor cuts during the incident.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Hancill 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 has now 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 has not had an easy background but is "capable of leading a meaningful life".

Mr Barton said Hancill, of Tow Law, County Durham, 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."