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Gang burst into home and threatened couple with newborn before stealing puppies

Three men and a teenage boy have been sentenced to a total of 35 years and five months in prison following an armed robbery last year.

The thugs armed themselves with weapons including machetes and an imitation firearm as they burst into an Old Swan house, on Derwent Road West, on Sunday, October 18, 2020.

Anthony Ainsworth, 22, Stephen Prendergast, 43, both from Old Swan and Lewis Prendergast 24, from Kensington forced their way into the house from a back door at around 2.25pm, Liverpool Echo reported.

A 17-year-old boy from Old Swan also took part in the terrifying robbery but cannot be named for legal reasons.

The four men threatened a couple and their new born baby, demanded cash then left with six American Bulldog puppies and a VW Golf that was parked outside.

(Left – right) Anthony Ainsworth, Lewis Prendergast and Stephen Prendergast sentenced for armed robbery in Old Swan

The car and all of the dogs were later recovered.

None of the occupants suffered injuries, but were left “extremely shaken” by the ordeal.

At around 3.45pm the same day, Matrix armed response officers were in the area searching for the offenders, and sighted their Ford Focus vehicle at the junction of Sheil Road and Kensington.

The gang made off towards Newsham Park but Stephen Prendergast and Lewis Prendergast were stopped and arrested, before being charged.

Anthony Ainsworth and the 17-year-old boy were found following an investigation.

Today (Wednesday, June 30) all four of the men involved with the armed robbery were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court.

22-year-old Anthony Ainsworth of Edinburgh Road, Old Swan was sentenced to 10 years and nine months for conspiracy to commit robbery.

24-year-old Lewis Prendergast of Bedford Street South, Kensington was sentenced to nine years and nine months for conspiracy to commit robbery and having a bladed article.

43-year-old Stephen Prendergast of Deane Road, Old Swan was sentenced to 10 years and nine months for conspiracy to commit robbery; having an imitation firearm with intent to commit an offence; and having a bladed article.

A 17-year-old boy from Old Swan was sentenced to four years and two months for conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Sarbjit Kaur said: “I welcome today’s sentencing, which see the offenders behind bars for a long time, following this complex investigation.

“The appalling attack last October saw the victims terrified and threatened with weapons, and left them extremely distressed.

“That the puppies were found offered a little consolation, and we hope that today’s sentencings provide further comfort as they look to recover.

“Burglary and robbery cause a significant impact on all of those who are targeted, and key to reducing them is often information we receive directly, anonymously or via partner agencies.

“Tell us what you know and we will keep removing those responsible from the communities they affect.”

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