Son speaks of anger after burglar is let out of jail and raids his mother’s house

Christopher Doughty
Christopher Doughty
  • John Langdon is angry that convicted criminal was let out of jail and then raided house in Hambledon
  • Elderly mother June Langdon was tied up and held hostage as crooks plundered her home
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THE son of a 90-year-old woman targeted by a violent raider has questioned why the burglar had been freed early from prison.

Christopher Doughty was found guilty of a terrifying burglary at Dower House in Hambledon.

Today John Langdon, the son of one of the victims, Hambledon pensioner June Langdon, said he was angry Doughty was free at all to commit the crime.

He said: ‘It was pretty clear that this guy was very devious. My view is that he shouldn’t have been out on parole.

‘I don’t why they let these people out. He clearly was a professional.’

On the verdict, he said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted.’

He said his late father, Richard Langdon, would be ‘horrified’ to know his wife had been put through the ordeal.

He added: ‘My mum and dad met towards the end of the war when he was defending Southampton against the German bombers.

‘To think all these years later when she’s over 90, that somebody from Southampton should tie her up and threaten to kill her dog and smash the house up. The house was a complete mess.’

He added: ‘It’s the system that enables these people to get out much earlier than they should.’

He said his mother was a robust character who had dealt with the trauma well.

‘I think this is rather small fry for someone who has lived through the war,’ said Mr Langdon.

‘I have got no sympathy for him at all.

‘You can’t help but feel anxious that somebody who has done this to another person has got to be a nasty coward. To target old people is a gruesome thing.’

As reported in The News yesterday, Doughty, a 53-year-old car dealer, was part of a highly-organised gang who raided the East Street home.

Three robbers subjected pensioner Mrs Langdon and her carer Victoria Stamp to a night of terror as they broke into the property under the cover of darkness on October 8 last year.

After Ms Stamp awoke to find three balaclava-clad men standing over her bed, the pair were tied up with Gaffer tape and blindfolded as the robbers ‘trashed’ the house for valuables, including silver, £1,000 in cash, antiques and Mrs Langdon’s engagement ring, which was ripped from her finger. The men threatened to kill Mrs Langdon’s dog Zeta if she did not reveal where her safe was.

Doughty had been out of prison on licence at the time after being convicted in 2009 of a similar raid at Aldsworth House, near Emsworth, in which £300,000 of family heirlooms were stolen and an elderly couple were tied up and battered.

Doughty, of Holly Gardens, Southampton was jailed for 17 years for his part in the burglary.

Last year Doughty had been let out on licence and was staying with his ex-wife.

The jury of eight men and four women took more than four hours to find Doughty guilty of the Hambledon aggravated burglary.

Other men involved in the burglary have never been found.

Doughty was caught after a loaded rifle was found by police in the back of a Vauxhall Astra he was driving.

The gun was taken in a raid on a house in Dumbleton Close, Southampton, on August 6 last year.

The jury found him guilty of being in possession of the loaded firearm.

But the jury found Doughty not guilty of committing aggravated burglary at the Dumbleton Close address.

The incriminating evidence in the Hambledon case was Doughty’s DNA, which was found on a door handle at Dower House.

Hambledon resident Tony Higham, a former Royal Navy commander, told The News: ‘It was a heinous crime inflicted on an old lady.

‘Whoever did it was wicked and evil.

‘I hope their sentence will be a long stretch in prison for their evil deeds.’

He added: ‘It certainly shook the village. It was a horrible, horrible crime – not just inflicted on her but her carer as well.’

Mr Langdon said Ms Stamp had been left very frightened after the burglary.

He intends to go to Doughty’s sentencing hearing on November 20 with Ms Stamp to help give her closure.