Machete-wielding robber terrifies Derby couple in their own home

This post first appeared on Derby Telegraph. Read the original article.

A machete-wielding traveller burst into the home of a terrified couple and threatened them with the 2ft-long weapon.

Career criminal John Quinn barged through the front door of the property in Sunny Hill screaming “Where’s the money, where’s the stuff,” a court was told.

He confronted the young couple who lived there, waving the machete just inches from their faces before running upstairs and ransacking their bedroom.

The 39-year-old, who has 37 previous convictions for 97 offences, then ran down the stairs and out of the property discarding the weapon in a nearby bush.

Jailing him for seven-and-a-half years at Derby Crown Court, Judge Nirmal Shant QC said: “You went into the house in broad daylight wielding a machete and that must have been absolutely terrifying for the couple inside.

John Quinn has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years

John Quinn has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years

“You would have cut what can only be described as a menacing figure to them waving the weapon towards them and I have heard that they are both still struggling to come to terms with the experience of coming across you.

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“You went upstairs and set about a bedroom pulling out drawers and breaking cupboards.

“I have heard their victim personal statements, they were terrified and she tell how she feels violated by you entering their home.

“That is the impact you had on them.”

At that point Quinn, who appeared via video link from HMP Nottingham, started shouting at the judge forcing her to conclude his sentencing by switching off the screen.

Alan Murphy, prosecuting, said the incident took place at 2.30pm on September 8 at an address in Browning Street.

He said the couple were in the kitchen of their home when they heard to front door open loudly.

Mr Murphy said: “They went to the living room where they were confronted by the sight of the defendant clutching a 2ft machete, a pretty fearsome weapon.

“He shouted ‘Where’s the money, where’s the stuff?’ to which the man replied ‘There is no money or stuff’.

“The woman describes how the defendant then started thrusting forwards with the machete then waving it inches from their faces and then running upstairs.

“The man called the police and followed the defendant upstairs where he was pulling out the drawers and saying ‘Where’s the money, where’s the drugs?’”

Mr Murphy said Quinn, formerly of Derby and now of Burnaby Road, Sandyford, Stoke, ran down the stairs and out of the property.

He was found nearby by police having discarded the weapon in a bush and his “distinctive” top in a wheelie bin.

He answered “no comment” to the questions he was asked following his arrest but later pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.

The court was told how his previous 97 offences included a number for robbery in Derby dating back to the 1990s.

Joe Harvey, mitigating, said his client was from the travelling community and was supported by members of his family in the public gallery.

He said Quinn had gone to the wrong house believing his 15-year-old brother had been buying drugs from there.

Mr Harvey said: “He has been using cannabis since the age of 10 and class A drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine from a young age and he is very keen to encourage his young brother not to follow the same route as him.

“He discovered his brother had been buying drugs and protecting his brother was the motivation for the offence.”

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