Woman left ‘shocked and distressed’ and taxi driver attacked as men are sentenced over attempted burglary and drunken assault

The men were sentenced at Luton Crown Court
The men were sentenced at Luton Crown Court
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Three men, two from Hemel Hempstead, have been sentenced over an attempted burglary and drunken attack in the town.

A woman sleeping in her home was woken by burglars trying to smash their way in during the middle of the night back in January. She saw four people running away, having failed to get in, Luton Crown Court was told.

Two of them Charlie Emmins and Bruno Batista, both 21, were later stopped by police and found to be in possession of tools.

Just under two weeks later the pair, along with 22 year old Oliver Martin were involved in a drunken attack on a taxi driver in Hemel Hempstead.

At their sentencing on Friday, Emmins, from Courtney Avenue, Harrow, was jailed for 26 months after pleading guilty to affray, common assault and attempted burglary.

Martin, of Plantation Walk, Hemel, was jailed for 20 months after pleading guilty to affray regarding the taxi incident and common assault on another taxi driver who came to his aid.

Batista, of Cuffley Court, Hemel, pleaded guilty to attempted burglary and threatening behaviour. He was given a 12 month prison sentence suspended for 18 months.

David Harounoff, prosecuting said the victim of the attempted break was asleep in her detached home in Leverstock Green Road, Hemel, on January 6.

“She was woken by loud banging at 2 am. She looked out of the window and saw four people run from the side of her house,” he said.

“Her side door had been damaged around the lock.”

The prosecutor then said that in the early hours of January 18, a taxi driver was waiting at a rank in The Marlowes, when Emmins got in the passenger seat. The others were outside the cab when Emmins began shouting and said he would kill him if he didn’t drive him to an address in Hemel.

The court heard that the driver felt scared and panicked before he was punched, but managed to push an emergency button and another taxi pulled up.

The other driver who came to his aid was pushed in the chest. Then the three ran off towards Hillfield Road.

Counsel defending the men said the attempted break-in had been amateurish, and the attack on the taxi driver was impulsive following a ‘great deal of drinking’.

Judge Philip Bartle QC said the victim of the attempted burglary was ‘shocked and distressed’ by the events. About the attack on the taxi driver, he added: “Taxi drivers are vulnerable and very easy targets for people to attack, when they are performing a public service.”