Burglar is jailed for four years after posing as pizza delivery driver to rob his cousin of £55,000 at knifepoint after she won £1m on National Lottery scratchcard
- Gary Westcott, 40, along with pal Matthew Poole, 34, posed as delivery men
- Merissa Smedley, Westcott’s cousin had told very few people about the win
- Raid was captured on Ms Smedley and boyfriend Wayne Cheeseman’s doorbell
The cousin of a millionaire lottery winner has been locked up for raiding his relative’s home at knife point and snatching £55,000 in cash
A man who burgled and robbed his cousin of £55,000 at knifepoint after he discovered she had won £1m on a scratchcard has been jailed.
Gary Westcott, 40, from Rochdale, along with pal Matthew Poole, 34, posed as pizza delivery men before storming the house in Faversham, Kent.
The raid was captured on Wayne Cheeseman’s doorbell which records images (pictured) when pressed – a treat he bought himself after winning the lottery
The masked and armed thieves barged their way inside and demanded money before fleeing.
They made off with a Samsung Galaxy Note 10, an iPhone XR and a bag containing £55,000 in cash.
Wayne Cheeseman and girlfriend Merissa Smedley, Westcott’s cousin, scooped £1million last year on a National Lottery scratchcard from a local shop.
The couple had not told many people about the win, only ‘relatively close friends and family members’.
The raid was captured on Mr Cheeseman’s doorbell which records images when pressed – a treat he bought himself after winning the lottery.
Footage from about 8 p.m. on 15 September last year revealed one of the men shouted ‘pizza’ twice before the door was opened by Mr Cheeseman.
During the 45 second clip, a female voice can be heard screaming, ‘don’t hurt him,’ and a man saying, ‘take it’.
Mr Cheeseman told the court it was not unusual to have takeaway delivery drivers knocking at his home looking for his neighbour’s house.
He said: ‘I saw two people, masked up. As soon as I opened that door I realised what was going to happen.
‘I tried to slam the door but it was too late and they barged in. They pushed their way in and pushed me against my tumble dryer.
Gary Westcott and Matthew Poole were found guilty and sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court
‘The tall one asked, ‘where’s the money?’ really aggressively. He must have known I had that because no one knew. I said, ‘take it, just take it’.
‘I was scared. I went upstairs and the taller man was behind me, but he pushed me out of the way and took the money. He knew where it was.
‘All I could hear was screaming. I just couldn’t help her. She was my girlfriend and I was stuck. I just couldn’t do nothing (sic).’
Mr Cheeseman said the raiders took the money and two mobile phones, but left behind his gold jewellery and other cash.
‘All they wanted was the bag. I had all my gold on the bed and money laying on the bed but they didn’t want that,’ he told the court.
‘It was quick – grab and gone. He knew where it was.
‘After taking the phones the little guy said, ‘if you call the police we will come back and kill you’. They walked out the front door and I slammed it..’
Westcott allegedly threatened the couple as he fled the scene and said: ‘If you call the Old Bill you are dead.’
Prosecutor Stephen Earnshaw revealed Westcott was a cousin of victim Ms Smedley.
Judge Martin Huseyin told the pair the victims were ‘gentle and nice people’ who kept money in their home to help friends and family.
He said it was a ‘particularly nasty’ raid because Westcott had betrayed his family.
Ms Smedley told the court in a victim impact statement how the incident had put pressure on her relationship with Mr Cheeseman.
She said she fears her lover blames her because Westcott is a relative.
She also revealed she no longer lives in their home or town and may never return again.
Gary Westcott, 40, from Rochdale, was sentenced to four years and six months in prison
Ms Smedley told the judge she cries herself to sleep, suffers flashbacks and wakes screaming.
‘I no longer trust anyone and I shut myself away and stay in one room,’ she added.
Tom Stern, defending Poole, said his client had been recruited by Westcott.
Judge Huseyin said: ‘I accept that Westcott was the brains behind this and Poole wouldn’t have got involved but for his friend.’
The prosecutor said Poole was stopped by police 12 days later on September 30.
A jury at Maidstone Crown Court cleared them both of the more serious charge of aggravated burglary but found them guilty of the break-in in Faversham.
Westcott was sentenced to four years and six months in prison, and Poole for 32 months.
Poole was also acquitted of possessing a Stanley knife during the attack.
As the two were being led away in court, a man in the public gallery shouted to Westcott: ‘Love you dad. Don’t worry I’ll sort it’, as others shouted, ‘snitch’ towards Poole.
The Crown Prosecution Service will now start an investigation into the raider’s finances in an attempt to recover the cash.
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