Fire bomb threat to Wrexham family in 'drug debt' case

Published date: 13 February 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A FAMILY were confronted in their home by a teenage girl and a woman brandishing a bread knife.

It was all over an alleged £15 drug debt, a court heard.

The victims were told the house in Wrexham would be fire-bombed if they reported the matter to the police, said prosecuting barrister Brett Williams.

Mold Crown Court heard yesterday that the two women went into the house in Wrexham on two occasions.

On the first occasion they were confronted by a number of people and a dog which was being held back, so they left.

But in the early hours they walked into the house again where violence erupted.

The mother of some of the young people present at that stage took a no nonsense approach and robustly threw them out.

But one of the defendants, Sophie Hughes, 20, later returned and damaged a car.

Hughes, of Connor Crescent in Wrexham, who had been recalled to custody after her release from a two-year sentence for aggravated burglary, received a youth custody sentence of 20 months after she admitted affray and possessing a knife.

A girl aged 17 denied affray but was convicted at an earlier trial.

She received a 12 month youth rehabilitation order with 160 hours of unpaid work and she was sent on thinking skills and future skills courses.

The girl, who was cleared of having a knife, was told that was largely because of the way she had changed her lifestyle since.

Judge Philip Hughes said the affray occurred in April of last year they entered the house and confronted a young man who it was said owed £15 to someone the girl knew and who had supplied him with drugs.

“It seems you were trying to collect a debt for the drug supplier,” the judge said.

Texts had already been sent to the young man’s sister making threats.

They were told to leave but Hughes brandished a knife which she pointed at the sister and threatened to stab her with it.

Hughes also threatened to petrol bomb the house if they contacted the police.

They left but returned, again Hughes had a knife when it must have been obvious there was a risk of violence, the judge said.

On this occasion, the mother of the young people present had returned home and grabbed the two of them.

She saw Hughes had a knife and had told her “don’t you dare come into my house with a knife”.

Hughes had threatened to stab her but one of the others present managed to get the knife off her, cutting himself in the process.

The judge said Hughes struggled with the mother before the mother overpowered her and said: “Did you honestly think that could you come into my house and threaten my children and I would not do anything?”

The teenage girl had joined in the violence on this occasion, and pulled the hair of the sister so hard that chunks of hair had come out.

They were ejected but when the sister went outside and told them to be quiet and not to disturb the neighbours, she was punched in the face.

Later at about 5am Hughes returned and damaged the car of one of the occupants of the house.

“This was a persistent and determined campaign to frighten and alarm the family and their friends who were doing nothing wrong, just socialising in private at home on a Saturday night,” the judge said.

Hughes was the most involved, was the oldest of the defendants and was on licence after being released from a two year sentence for aggravated burglary when she had previously taken a weapon into a property.

The judge told the girl that she knew the purpose of the visit, she went there to recover £15 for her drug dealer, and knew full well that violence was likely.

Simon Rogers, for Hughes, said she was undertaking fork-lift training while in custody in the hope she could make a fresh start in employment on her release.

She was now on medication for obsessive compulsive disorder and wanted to stop offending.

Stephen Edwards, for the 17-year-old, said at the time the defendant was in care, was vulnerable, was taking drugs and alcohol, and keeping bad company. She had turned her life around since her arrest.

She was reconciled with her family, had her own accommodation, was undergoing training and had stopped taking drugs. Her remorse was genuine.

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