Woman praised by judge after she rushed at Nigel Greenwood and plunged knife into his arm when he threatened her son
A machete-wielding burglar who targeted a wealthy family and threatened to cut off a man's fingers fled empty-handed after a householder fought back, a court heard.
Gillian Wilson, 55, was praised by a judge after she rushed at the burglar, Nigel Greenwood, 29, and plunged a knife into his right arm.
At Bradford crown court, recorder Andrew Stubbs QC sentenced Greenwood to seven years in prison after he admitted a charge of aggravated burglary.
A court heard that a quiet family evening for Wilson and her 64-year-old husband, Brian, turned to horror when three armed and masked intruders burst into their detached bungalow in Apperley Bridge, West Yorkshire, in October.
Their son Christopher, 26, who was visiting with his wife, was punched in the face by Greenwood and demands were made for cash and jewellery.
The prosecutor Nigel Hamilton said Greenwood demanded to know where the safe was, but there was no safe in the house and police believed that the intruders might have gone to the wrong property.
As his two accomplices searched the house, Greenwood grabbed Christopher Wilson's hand and, with the machete held over it, told him to give up one of his fingers.
Mrs Wilson screamed and ran towards Greenwood with a knife she had grabbed from the kitchen, stabbing him with it, the court heard.
Blood left at the scene linked Greenwood to the crime and he was arrested at a caravan in Filey, North Yorkshire.
Greenwood, of Bradford, who in 2007 was jailed for four years for conspiracy to burgle, claimed to have been recruited for the job. Timothy Stead, defending, said his client had been working in a glass factory and was thought to have turned a corner.
Stubbs said previous sentences had not been a deterrent to Greenwood and the attack on the Wilsons' home was a well-planned operation. "If it hadn't been for the bravery of his mother, who knows what would have happened," the judge said.