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Home / Latest News / GP says she thought she’d die in her own home after finding two armed men waiting for her

GP says she thought she’d die in her own home after finding two armed men waiting for her

A GP has described how she thought she would die in her own home after finding two armed men inside.

GP Aparna Amin returned to her Pontprennau home at lunchtime on February 22 but discovered two men inside.

The pair were wearing masks and armed with screwdrivers.

They confronted her and she handed over her watch. The pair searched her handbag and led her upstairs where she discovered some of her jewellery had already been taken.

A third man sat outside, waiting in a getaway car.

The trio have been sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court to a total of more than 18 years. The court heard that earlier the same day, Dooley and Price had already targeted a home in Rumney owned by Dev Kaur.

Offences admitted

Tom Colwyn Price, 22, from Rumney, Cardiff, John Henry Janes, 25, from Trowbridge, Cardiff, and Simon Patrick Dooley, 27, from Almondsbury, Bristol, all admitted their offences.

The prosecution said the homes were targeted the two homes both owned by Asian families in a bid to steal valuable amounts of gold jewellery.

Dr Amin described how she had resigned herself to the fact that she would be killed in her own home.

A victim impact statement from Dr Amin was read out by prosecutor Ieuan Morris.

She said: “I entered to find myself face-to-face with two masked men threatening me with screwdrivers.

“As this was going on, through my head, I had one overwhelming feeling. I reserved myself to the fact that I was going to die in the house. I was powerless to do anything to defend myself.

”This is no longer my home. I can’t even stay at the address. Nothing feels secure anymore.”

She told the court she had moved to Cardiff in 2003 and had never felt anything but relaxed and comfortable in her home but had to cancel GP surgeries since the incident.

Attempted escape

Police had been called by a neighbour who had noticed a “tatty” car in the area. When they went into the house, Price and Dooley tried to escape by smashing glass patio doors.

All three men were arrested and the stolen jewellery was recovered by officers.

Dr Amin was found crying uncontrollably in the street afterwards.

Price, of Green Leaf Yard, Wentloog Road, and Dooley, of Hickory Lane in Almondsbury, Bristol, were both armed with screwdrivers while Janes, of Shirenewtown Caravan Park, Cardiff, was waiting in a car outside.

Tom Colwyn Price

Price and Dooley pleaded guilty to robbery at the Pontprennau address, while Janes admitted burglary. Price and Dooley also pleaded guilty to the Rumney burglary.

Price was sentenced to a total of seven years, Dooley eight years and three months and Janes was sentenced to three years in prison.

The prosecution said that the two homes were ransacked in a bid to find gold and valuable items to pay for drugs.

Every room in the Rumney property had been disturbed apart from the attic, but the prosecution said that nothing was stolen. The judge sentencing the trio said the Rumney burglary was “a very messy” burglary.

“She feared for her life. She’s now traumatised and feels insecure”, said Mr Morris.

Drug habit

Kevin Seal, defending Dooley, said: “It’s never been suggested before that either of the victims in this matter were pursued because of their ethnicity. This is down to the location. It was to obtain money to feed a drug habit that lay behind the offending.”

Jeffrey Jones, representing Price, told the court how Price had been a boxer and had represented Wales in the past, before securing five professional fights and winning a silver medal at the Celtic Games for Wales previously.

Mr Jones said: “This defendant was off the tracks. He’s capable of realising where the proper track is.”

John Henry Janes

Heath Edwards, representing Janes, said: “He was recruited to drive to what was the scene of a burglary. As far as he understood it, it was an unoccupied property in which there was no expectation of conflict.”

Recorder Booth said that it was clear they were looking for gold from Dr Amin.

He said it may well have been that the incidents were the targeting of Asian residences because of a feeling that there may be more gold at those premises.

‘Serious psychological harm’

Recorder Booth said: “Aparna Amin was a general practitioner living alone, serving the community. As a result of your behaviour that day, you traumatised her, made her feel utterly insecure and caused her to undergo a personality change.

“You said you were after gold. You stole jewellery of great sentimental value.

“Thanks to the community support of a neighbour, the police appeared at the door and the two of you ran off to the rear. She felt she was going to die at home that day.

“There was serious psychological harm to the victim and high-value goods were obtained.”

Simon Patrick Dooley

Speaking after the sentencing Detective Inspector Dan Michel from South Wales Police said: “This was a terrifying experience for the woman who is still traumatised by what happened in her own home.

“The willingness of Price and Dooley to use violence stood out and something we had not encountered in previous burglary investigations.

“Tackling violent crime and burglary is a priority for South Wales Police and we were absolutely determined to take these three men off the streets of Cardiff. We hope today’s sentence will give the victim some peace of mind as she tries to move on from this ordeal.”

Police plea

DI Michel added: “We don’t wish to alarm people but we feel it is important that the public is aware that burglars will sometimes visit a particular house or street days or weeks before a burglary to carry out research.

“Please report any suspicious callers to your house or person or vehicle in your street, by calling us 101 or 999 in an emergency. Your report will be taken seriously.

“Home owners are also advised to take extra security steps if they are away from home and also when they have more valuable jewellery at home than usual, perhaps due to a significant event such as a wedding or festival.

“Those with expensive jewellery could consider making use of a safety box facility or installing a good quality safe which is secured to an exterior wall or to the floor.”

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