Bonnie and Clyde couple who attacked grandmother, 92, during raid are jailed ... trends now
A Bonnie and Clyde couple who gagged a 92-year-old grandmother with her own tights and tied her to a chair during a string of raids have been jailed for a total of more than 20 years.
Jean Harding was left fearing for her life when Edward Connors, 30, and his fiancee Leanna Hughes burst into her Manchester home late at night last June while in search of valuables.
Connors, a convicted rapist, bound Mrs Harding up with a cable tie, dragged her downstairs and threatened to kill her if she refused to comply.
Hughes, 29, then stripped the grandmother of all her jewellery, including priceless family heirlooms, and tied her up with a hoover cable.
The couple was sentenced to a total of over 20 years in jail after being convicted of burglary, attempted burglary and fraud at Manchester Crown Court.
Edward Connors (left) and Leanna Hughes (right) gagged a 92-year-old grandmother with her own tights and tied her to a chair during a string of raids
Connors (left) and Hughes (right) were sentenced to a total of over 20 years in jail after being convicted of burglary, attempted burglary and fraud at Manchester Crown Court
The then-newly engaged couple targeted Mrs Harding's property in Burnage, Manchester during a crime spree after arriving on the British mainland from their homes in Dublin, Ireland.
Connors entered Mrs Harding's second floor bedroom window via a ladder at around 11pm on June 2, 2022, the court heard.
He then tied her up with cable ties and threatened that he would kill her if she did not comply and remain silent.
He forced Mrs Harding to go downstairs and get the front door keys so he could let his lover in through the front door.
After Hughes entered the property, Connors ran back upstairs to 'clean out the bedroom', the prosecutor said.
Meanwhile, Hughes forced Mrs Harding into the living room, tied her up to a table with a vacuum cleaner cable and gagged her mouth with a pair of tights. She also unplugged the landline phone, preventing her from raising the alarm.
'Her restraint led to bruising to her mouth and arm,' Edmund Potts, prosecuting, told the court, adding that Hughes then 'took all of the jewellery that she was wearing.'
Mrs Harding struggled against her assailants, prompting Hughes to say: 'If I don't take it he'll rip it out.'
In total, the couple stole a 22-carat gold ring, an 18-carat gold ring, a gold wedding band, a silver Celtic cross necklace, a plain gold necklace and £600 in cash.
The pair, having completed their raid, fled the home, leaving Mrs Harding tied to the table. The 92-year-old managed to free herself and went to a neighbour's house to report the crime.
Police used CCTV to identify the couple, track them down and make an arrest.
Officers were also able to link Connors and Hughes to another raid in which they stole a backpack full of valuables, including a passport, from a front porch near their lodgings in Fallowfield.
The couple (pictured) stole a 22-carat gold ring, an 18-carat gold ring, a gold wedding band, a silver Celtic cross necklace, a plain gold necklace and £600 in cash from the pensioner
Mrs Harding was left so traumatised by the attack that she struggled to sleep and avoided staying at her home for an entire month.
She said, in a victim statement given to the court, that whenever she thinks of the incident it still 'sends shivers down my spine.'
'I didn't know if I was going to be battered or raped because of the stories I've heard,' the pensioner told the court.
'It sends shivers down my spine when I think about it and I now jump at every bump in the night.
'When the man came through the window I banged my head and also my hip, which had just been replaced. My heart started racing and I could feel it pounding in my chest. When he asked me to help his accomplice in through the front door I felt sick.