October 24th, 2016

Remorseful Leamington robber jailed

Updated: 3:04 pm, May 07, 2015

AFTER threatening to kill a man while attacking and robbing him in his own Leamington home late at night, Matthew O’Rourke was overcome with remorse and handed himself in to the police.

And because of that a judge at Warwick Crown Court knocked an extra year off 36 year-old O’Rourke’s sentence after he pleaded guilty to two charges of robbery.

O’Rourke, of St Paul’s Square, Leamington, was jailed for seven years – after originally facing an eight-year sentence.

Prosecutor Paul Spratt said in September last year a 57-year-old man was in bed at his home in Morton Street, when there was a knock at the door.

Thinking it might be his grandson, who lived with him and had gone out for the evening, he went downstairs in his pyjamas.

But when he opened the door he was instead greeted by O’Rourke who was looking for his grandson.

Despite being told he was not there, O’Rourke forced his way in and followed the man into the living room where he picked up a chair and threw it at him.

O’Rourke, who had a metal dog chain wrapped round his right hand, then punched him in the face, causing cuts to his cheek and ear, before demanding money and threatening to kill him.

His victim did not have any significant amount of money in the house, but when he was told that, O’Rourke picked up a letter opener with a six-inch blade.

The man, who suffers from asthma, only had £5 which he gave to O’Rourke, who then began taking property including a laptop computer and a sat-nav.

At that point the man’s grandson arrived home and was robbed of his phone, keys and wallet by O’Rourke who then left, warning them that he had the keys and would return and kill them if they called the police.

Despite the threat, the grandson picked up two knives and set off after O’Rourke who turned to confront him before throwing the laptop and other items to the ground in an alleyway.

O’Rourke made off, but a few days later he announced in a chip shop that he was ‘a wanted man’ – and he later handed himself in at Leamington police station.

Mr Spratt added as a result of the incident the victim had moved out of his home because the fear of O’Rourke returning to carry out his threat.

Sean Logan, defending, said O’Rourke was drunk at the time and had also taken legal highs.

Mr Logan added O’Rourke had led ‘an odd life,’ and although he had convictions for assault and burglary more than four years ago, he had settled down until a relationship hit the rocks and he ‘turned to substances and alcohol again.’

Matthew O’Rourke, who handed himself into police, has been jailed for seven years. (s)