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Ashley Nightingale sentenced

28 Jul 2020
  • 30 year old Ashley Nightingale from Hitchin pleaded guilty to robbery from a dwelling at St Albans Crown Court.

  • Nightingale and three other men forced their way into a family home in Letchworth, terrifying a mother and her two young children.

  • The mother offered them her son’s savings and managed to call for help from an upstairs bedroom window.

A 30-year-old man from Hitchin has been sentenced, following his part in a frightening aggravated burglary in Letchworth.

Ashley Nightingale, of no fixed address, appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Monday 20th July. He pleaded guilty on the second day of his trial to two counts of robbery from a dwelling and was sentenced on Friday 24 July.

Describing his actions as ‘horrific and cowardly, causing appalling damage to the family involved’, Judge Grey sentenced him to 10 years in prison for each count and for them to run concurrently.

On Saturday 5 October 2019, at around 2pm, four men forced their way into a house in Dunlin in the town, while a mother was at home with her two young children. Whilst demanding money and items of value, the scared children joined their mother in her bedroom.

The men then set about ransacking the property in their search for cash and jewellery. During this process one of them stood in front of the mother and the children brandishing a hammer. The mother managed to pick up a shard of broken mirror to protect her family. Apart from an injury to the girl’s foot caused by the broken glass, the family were unharmed during the terrifying incident.

The mother showed the men £170 her nine year old son had saved and then managed to scream for help from a bedroom window, forcing the suspects to flee from the premises. They left with the boy’s money, a box of collectable coins and some jewellery.

All four men were seen to get in to a blue coloured Ford focus estate and flee from the area.

Ashley Nightingale was picked out during an identification procedure and the car in which the men escaped from the scene was located. Nightingale was subsequently arrested along with three other men.

During the trial the family were highly commended for their actions, which enabled officers to swiftly identify Nightingale, and they were awarded a £1000 reward.

The officers in the case were also praised by the judge for their investigation.

Detective Sergeant Will Ainsworth, from the North Herts Local Crime Unit said: “This is an excellent result. Ashley Nightingale is a dangerous man, who has shown through this investigation, just what a risk he poses to the general public. It has been a very traumatic time for the family and hopefully this sentence will help them to move on with their lives.”

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