'Monster' bursts into home with kids inside as mum nipped to shop at 9pm

Monkey dust user Daniel Hodgkinson smashed his way inside a house with two children inside while their mum had gone to the shop. The 37-year-old terrified the youngsters as he stole keys to a Peugeot car before driving off at speed.

He then reversed into a taxi, leaving it a write-off, before driving to his family's home. His brother called the police and said, 'My dusthead brother has just arrived. There is a car outside, I think he has nicked it'.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard the defendant ran off and was found by police with a screwdriver. He tested positive for cocaine at the roadside but failed to give a sample of blood in custody. Now Hodgkinson has been jailed for two years.

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Prosecutor James Hudson said a woman left her two children inside her home in Knypersley Road, Norton, while she nipped to the shop at 8.55pm on April 3. But one of her children rang her to say a man had walked into the house. She ran home and saw her Peugeot car being driven off at high speed.

Mr Hudson said: "She saw her front window had been smashed. A bottle was thrown through the window which narrowly missed her son's head."

In a victim statement the woman said her children now feel unsafe in their home. She has replaced the window, changed the locks and installed CCTV. She has had to buy a new car and is now in debt. She added: "I hope my children never have to see this monster."

The court heard at 9pm a taxi driver was driving along Chell Heath Road with a passenger. Mr Hudson said: "He saw the Peugeot drive towards him. It swerved across him into the Kingdom of Jehovah's Witnesses centre. It reversed at speed and collided with the taxi, causing it to spin around and come to rest on grass. The taxi was written-off and the driver lost a week's takings of up to £1,400."

At 9.15pm Hodgkinson went to his family home in Hambro Place, Fegg Hayes. Mr Hudson said: "His brother saw him in the kitchen. His hands were bleeding and he shouted , 'Mum, help, it wasn't me'.

"Members of his family called the police. Police arrived. He was detained following a foot chase. A struggle ensued. He was in possession of a screwdriver. He was arrested. A roadside drug test gave a positive result for cocaine.

"His brother handed over the keys which matched the stolen Peugeot. At the police station he refused to provide a specimen of blood."

Hodgkinson, of Drakeford Grove, Norton, pleaded guilty to burglary; theft; criminal damage; dangerous driving; possession of an offensive weapon; failing to stop after an accident; driving without insurance; and failing to provide a specimen of blood for analysis.

Jason Holt, mitigating, said monkey dust was at the root of Hodgkinson's problems. He started to spiral after losing his relationship. In June 2023 he gave someone a lift to The George Hotel, Burslem, and was introduced to monkey dust. He smoked that and became paranoid. He sold all his items in his flat to obtain monkey dust. He ran around naked and was convicted of exposure.

Mr Holt added: "He was paranoid. He offers, through me, his sincere apologies for the distress he has caused."

Recorder Robert Smith said: "What you did, a strange man, walking into the house uninvited, terrified those children. It had a real impact on them.

"You reversed at speed and collided with the taxi. It was a forceful impact, causing it to spin around and face the wrong way. You should have stopped but you sped off to escape.

"People who burgle houses occupied by children while under the influence of intoxicating substances, steal a family car, crash into another vehicle and are in possession of a weapon when struggling with the police can only expect an immediate prison sentence."

The judge made a deprivation order for the screwdriver. He disqualified Hodgkinson from driving for three years and until he passes an extended test. The ban will be extended by 12 months to account for the time he will spend in jail.

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