Hitchin acid burglary pair jailed for total of 32 years

Aaron Boyce, 19, has been jailed for his part in an aggravated burglary in Hitchin. Picture: Herts p

Aaron Boyce, 19, has been jailed for his part in an aggravated burglary in Hitchin. Picture: Herts police - Credit: Archant

Two members of a gang who burgled a house in Hitchin and sprayed their victim with acid have been sentenced to a total of 32 years behind bars.

Following a week-long trial, 19-year-old Aaron Boyce and 26-year-old Dwane Matterson were found guilty of taking part in the aggravated burglary in the early hours of May 6 this year.

Judge Jonathan Carroll, sitting at St Albans Crown Court, sentenced them to 15 and 17 years’ imprisonment respectively.

The burglary happened at about 2.30am on May 6, in Hitchin’s Roundwood Close – on the north-eastern edge of the town.

Boyce, Matterson and two other men forced their way into the house and, once inside, the intruders were confronted by the victim.

The victim was sprayed in the face with an acidic substance, causing burns to his back, neck and head. He received hospital treatment for his injuries.

After swift investigations by the North Herts local crime unit, Boyce, Matterson and two other men were arrested later that day.

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Boyce and Matterson were charged. The other two men were subsequently released with no further action taken against them.

Det Insp Michael Keane, who leads the North Herts local crime unit, said: “This was a random attack, and thankfully incidents of this nature are not common in the local area.

“This was a terrifying ordeal for the victim to go through.

“He was left with burns after the attack, which have thankfully healed well – but the whole ordeal caused the victim a great deal of distress and pain.

“We are really pleased with the outcome of this sentencing and feel that it suitably reflects the severity of the crime, and I hope the significant time in prison gives both Boyce and Matterson time to think about the consequences of their actions.”

Boyce, of no fixed address in Hertford, and Matterson, of Curzon Avenue in Enfield, were found guilty at St Albans Crown Court on October 31. They were sentenced on Thursday last week.

For advice on how to secure your home against burglaries, see herts.police.uk. Call 101 if you have been a victim or witness of crime, or 999 if a crime is in progress. You can also report anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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