Carer tells jury of horrifying robbery by gang which hit homes in Hambledon

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  • Victim tells court of her nightmare robbery ordeal
  • Carer describes the terrifying moment she woke up to find three balaclava-clad robbers towering over her bed
  • The gang ransacked the large house making off wedding rings, £1,000 in cash and a watch
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A CARER has described the terrifying moment she woke up to find three balaclava-clad robbers towering over her bed.

Victoria Stamp described in court the horrific ordeal she and the then-90-year-old June Langdon went through when three men broke into Dower House, in Hambledon.

They said they were going to kill the dog if we did not tell them where the safe was.

Victoria Stamp, robbery victim

{ | Her evidence comes in the trial of Christopher Doughty, who is accused of being part of a highly-organised gang that targeted large properties in Hambledon and Southampton.}

Ms Stamp told the jury she arrived for a night shift as normal on October 8 last year.

Mrs Langdon was in the living room in her easy chair and the pair chatted about the pensioner’s trip out that day to have lunch with a friend and buy Christmas presents.

Ms Stamp said she went to the annex of the historic house to go to bed and fell asleep at about 10.20pm after doing a crossword.

A video was played to the jury of the police interview with Ms Stamp the day after the break-in.

Ms Stamp said: ‘I woke up, there were three men.

‘They were dressed in black and had balaclavas on.

‘They jumped basically on top of me.

‘They were hitting out because I was screaming.

‘They had their hands all over my face.

‘They just said “calm down, we are not going to hurt you”.’

Two of the men went downstairs and Ms Stamp asked for some water from a bottle on the side of the bed and the robber who stayed in the room allowed her to have a sip, the jury heard.

Ms Stamp was then led downstairs to where Mrs Langdon was in the lounge with the other two robbers.

‘I sat down in the chair opposite Mrs Langdon,’ she said.

‘They tied my arms with black gaffa tape and my feet as well.

‘They put a strip over my eyes.

‘Mrs Langdon was saying “please don’t hurt her”.

‘They were saying “where’s the safe, where’s the jewellery?”

‘She said “I have not got a safe”.

‘They carried on. They said they were going to kill the dog if we did not tell them where the safe was.’

Ms Stamp said one of the men – who she described as ‘more mellow’ – stayed with them as the other two went upstairs.

‘There was lots of banging upstairs,’ she said.

Mrs Langdon got £1,000 in cash for the men which she had on a tray on the table next to where she was sitting.

Ms Stamp said: ‘She said the safe is upstairs and the key is by the window.

‘They got the safe down.

‘They smashed it down the stairs. I heard a big thud.

‘They said “Where’s the other safe?”’

Ms Stamp said one of the men was ‘very aggressive’, but the other two were more mellow.

She said: ‘I kept trying to take the bottom of the blindfold off so I could see where they were”.

‘I was trying to listen to as much detail as possible.’

Ms Stamp said: ‘Mrs Langdon said “There’s silver, that’s all I have got”.

‘They called her a liar and a stubborn old lady.’

She told the jury that the men ‘trashed’ the lounge, turning over sofas and ripping pictures off the walls.

During the robbery, the men told her “We have been following you for weeks”.

The men said they knew that Ms Stamp went to bed early.

The men demanded Mrs Langdon’s diamond ring and eventually found it in a bag.

The court heard the robbers made off with antique china, Mrs Langdon’s watch, £1,000 in cash and her wedding rings.

Ms Stamp said: ‘They said “We have got to get to London. Let’s go to London”.’

At one point an alarm set off and the men said ‘Let’s just go’.

Mrs Langdon begged them ‘Please don’t hurt Zeta (the dog)’, the court heard.

Ms Stamp said: ‘It just seemed to go on forever.

‘It was a good hour that it went on.’

The men said they were going to meet some men in a field nearby and two of them left the house.

The robber who stayed behind got Ms Stamp’s personal phone from her hand bag.

Ms Stamp said: ‘He said “I will ring your mum when I get to Winchester ‘cos I don’t want you sitting here all night tied up”.’

Two of the men left, while another stayed behind and said he would need to take Ms Stamp’s car.

But he said he would leave it for her nearby.

Mrs Langdon begged them to take her car, but in the end, no cars were taken.

The man said he would be back in 10 minutes, but never returned.

‘I heard the car just zoom off,’ said Ms Stamp.

Ms Stamp’s personal mobile phone was later found hidden under a sofa.

Ms Stamp was able to struggle free and find her work phone in her hand bag and dial 999.

She said: ‘I said “Please come and help us. They said they are going to come back”.

‘I kept panicking, asking how long they were going to be.’

The men are thought to have left some time after 4am and police arrived by 4.30am.

Doughty, 53, of Holly Gardens, Southampton, denies two counts of aggravated burglary.

Two other suspects have never been found.

The trail continues.