Five-strong gang jailed for combined 53 years after Hitchin and Stevenage burglary victims threatened with a dumbbell or knife

Luke Lacey has been jailed for 15 years for aggravated burglaries in Hitchin and Stevenage.

Luke Lacey has been jailed for 15 years for aggravated burglaries in Hitchin and Stevenage. - Credit: Archant

A five-strong gang have been jailed for a combined 53 years after burglaries in Hitchin and Stevenage where victims – including a pregnant woman – were threatened with either a dumbbell or a knife.

Carl Ferrance has been jailed for 15 years.

Carl Ferrance has been jailed for 15 years. - Credit: Archant

The men were sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court on Friday after being found guilty of aggravated burglary at Sharps Court in Cooks Way, Hitchin.

Luke Lacey, Carl Ferrance, Wess Jarrad Kidd and Tafadzwa Shepherd Rufuse – all from Stevenage – had forced their way into the flat on September 23 last year, demanding money from the men living there.

The victims were threatened with a dumbbell, with one assaulted.

The quartet then fled the scene in a getaway car driven by accomplice Courdel Reid, who lives in Sanfoine Close, Hitchin.

Wess Jarrad Kidd has been jailed for nine years and six months.

Wess Jarrad Kidd has been jailed for nine years and six months. - Credit: Archant

Lacey, of Grove Road in Stevenage, was handed the longest sentence – 15 years for each offence to be served concurrently – after also being found guilty of an aggravated burglary in the town’s Shackleton Spring on March 23 last year.

The 24-year-old again forced his way into a couple’s home and demanded money. The woman – who was pregnant – and the man involved were both threatened with a knife, with Lacey making off with cash and a necklace.

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Ferrance, 28, of Bernhardt Crescent, was given 10 years and six months in prison for his part, while 21-year-old Reid was handed a nine-year prison term.

Kidd, 21, from Scott Road, was jailed for nine years and six months, while fellow 21-year-old Rufuse, of Admiral Drive, was handed a sentence of nine years and three months.

Tafadzwa Shepherd Rufuse has been jailed for nine years and three months.

Tafadzwa Shepherd Rufuse has been jailed for nine years and three months. - Credit: Archant

Det Con Steve Cook investigated the Sharps Court aggravated burglary.

He said: “I was delighted with the results of the sentencing of the five men involved in the offence in Hitchin. Aggravated burglary is a particularly traumatising crime to experience and this case was no exception.

“We will not tolerate offences of this nature in North Herts and will do all we can to find anyone responsible. I’m sure the significant prison sentences the offenders have received will give them time to think about what they have done.”

Det Con Katy Tucker, who led the Shackleton Spring investigation, added: “I am really pleased to see that justice was served on Friday. Luke Lacey committed two contemptible crimes that put the victims through such an ordeal they were left extremely shaken.

Courdel Reid has been jailed for nine years.

Courdel Reid has been jailed for nine years. - Credit: Archant

“In particular, to threaten a woman who was pregnant in the manner that he did was despicable. I hope all of the victims can now begin to move on with their lives.”

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