Armed burglars force Colne family out of home

Joseph Cleasby and his wife Laura who have had been left terrified after a violent robbery at their home.
Joseph Cleasby and his wife Laura who have had been left terrified after a violent robbery at their home.

A husband and his pregnant wife have exclusively revealed that armed burglars have forced them out of their home.

The offenders threatened to “knock the baby” out of Laura Cleasby.

And the family has been left in a “living nightmare”.

Mrs Cleasby and her husband Joseph were left terrified when four balaclava-wearing men entered their home, in Duke Street, armed with a baseball bat and demanding cannabis.

Their five-month-old boy was upstairs during the 20-minute burglary, as were Mrs Cleasby’s six-year-old daughter and eight-year-old disabled son.

The pair told how they are now unable to live in the house, and how they are currently in the process of moving property due to the trauma the incident has caused.

They recalled how they were disturbed at just before 11pm on March 17th, when they heard a “horrendous” banging on their front door.

The offenders were shouting that they were police, but when the door was not opened, they knocked it down.

Mrs Cleasby, who is 12 weeks pregnant, ran to hide in the cellar, but was pushed and nearly knocked down the stairs.

According to the mum-of-three, the burglars threatened to “knock the baby out of her”, before demanding that she put down her phone when she tried to ring the police.

Mr Cleasby (36) said: “We are absolutely traumatised - I felt I was in a nightmare. The children are heartbroken, and it has upset the whole family.

“I am not bothered about compensation, all I am bothered about is that the police find them and do something about it.

“The men all had balaclavas on and black clothing, three of them were tall and stocky, and one was small and stocky.

“We are having to go from scratch again because of this - it is horrible and all too much.”

The four offenders made off with Mrs Cleasby’s mobile phone, but this was dropped in the street as they left the scene.

Mrs Cleasby (26) added: “I was screaming ‘please don’t hurt me, I’m pregnant’. I thought ‘that’s it, they are going to whack me’.

“The only time I have been back to the house since is during the day with somebody. I haven’t been back at night.

“We had spent a lot of money on that house, and had newly decorated it, but at the end of the day I want the children to feel safe.

“Those men need to be caught, it is wrong.”

A second burglary happened in Duke Street on Thursday, March 27th, when two men armed with a handsaw kicked down the door and also demanded cannabis.

Anybody with information about either incident can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.