A Hastings man who took part in a violent burglary at an isolated East Sussex address has been jailed.
Damien Oprey, 27, of Mount Pleasant Road, Hastings, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Friday (February 8) having been convicted of taking part in the aggravated burglary just before midnight on November 12, said police.
Police said five men, one with a handgun, smashed their way through the front door into the bungalow in Butchers Lane, Three Oaks, while the sole occupant was asleep inside.
The 61-year-old man was terrified and fled unhurt into his garden while the intruders made off with an old laptop, but caused extensive damage to the property and considerable distress for the occupant, according to police.
Detective Constable Shelley Campbell said: “During our enquiries, forensic examination of the scene found Oprey’s DNA in blood at the address and he was arrested later that month.
“The damage caused to gain entry was excessive and much of it totally unnecessary and we can only imagine it was to create the greatest amount of fear to whoever was inside.
“This was a frightening incident for the victim, and the exact motive is still not clear, but we are glad to have been able to bring one member of this gang to justice already.”
At Lewes Crown Court on February 8 Oprey was handed a ten-year prison sentence, according to Sussex Police.
Inspector Jon Gillings added: “This is an excellent result and reflects the hours of hard work Hastings Detectives and Investigators are putting into making Hastings and Rother Districts safer.”
“Our enquiries continue to trace the other four men involved in the attack. If you can help in any way, please contact us online or call 101, quoting serial 001 of 13/11/18.”
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.