A terrified couple have told how they feared for their lives after three masked burglars burst into their Doncaster home and attacked them with hammers and metal poles.
Balaclava-clad Mark Milner, aged 29, has now been jailed for 10-and-a-half years after he and two others carried out a raid which left one of their victims blind in one eye.
The victims – who declined to be named for fear of reprisals – have said they were left terrifed by the attack, which police said was a case of mistaken identity. The 55-year-old male victim, a former warehouse operative, said: “They burst in through the front door and I really thought both of us would end up dead.
“I fought with one of them, but they just piled on top of me and hit me at every angle with their hammers. My partner was also hit in the eye with one of the hammers.
“But we are just thankful to be alive today.”
The attack happened at their home on Chaucer Road, Mexborough, when the 46-year-old female victim, a mum-of-two and care worker, was watching TV downstairs and her partner was upstairs in bed.
She said: “They kept shouting ‘stay still or we will attack you’ and ’where is he’. I screamed for my partner to come downstairs.
“At that point one of them hit me in the left eye. The pain was awful.”
The man said: “I came downstairs and punched one of them and jumped on him. Then the others started smashing me with their weapons on the back, arm, stomach, everywhere.”
The trio fled the scene empty handed, after the raid on Saturday, October 5, 2013, at about 9pm.
However, Milner was arrested the following day after as forensic evidence left at the scene tied him to the crime.
Milner, of Wildene Drive, Mexborough, was charged in June and admitted aggravated burglary at Sheffield Crown Court on Wednesday.
Two other Doncaster men, aged 23 and 25, were arrested in connection with the incident, but released due to insufficient evidence.
The couple who were attacked are due to get married next summer and said they now want to put the whole episode behind them.
The man said: “I am just glad he is off the streets and can’t do this to anyone else.”
His partner said: “I am just coming to terms with my partial blindness, but we just want to move on with our lives.”
After the case, investigating officer PC Emma Taylorson, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “I am delighted with the sentence handed to Milner at court, which reflects the gravity of this offence.
“The victims were subjected to a vicious attack in a horrific case of mistaken identity and I hope they are reassured knowing Milner will be behind bars for many years to come.”