An 18-year-old thug broke into two homes and threatened an elderly woman with a screwdriver, sending her running screaming in terror.
“Abhorrent” Michael Maughan carried out two “truly shocking” burglaries during the same morning in north London.
Now, detectives are appealing for the public’s help in finding out who the second suspect was after Maughan went on the run and had to be convicted in absentia.
During the first incident on February 28, 2020, the teen was one of two who knocked on the door of a house in Haringey, before barging into an 83-year-old woman who answered.
The duo demanded valuables and attempted to pull the elderly woman’s rings from her fingers, My London reports.
One of the suspects then removed the pyjama top from a 79-year-old man before smearing fabric conditioner on his chest, causing “a burning sensation”.
The men left the property with a small amount of jewellery.
Later the same morning, the same two men smashed their way through a patio door while an 84-year-old woman “cowered” inside her home in Edmonton.
The woman was captured on her home surveillance system trying to flee the two men and her screams were recorded as they caught up with her.
She was then also threatened with a screwdriver, with the suspects demanding money before scouring the house for valuables.
After the suspects left the property with a few collectable coins, the woman was able to alert a neighbour, who called police.
Full forensic examinations were carried out at both properties and detectives quickly established that the same suspects were involved in both burglaries.
Officers were able to identify a vehicle that was believed to have been used by the suspects, catching it on ANPR in Hertfordshire an hour after the burglaries had taken place.
The car was found abandoned in Brighton after it had been stolen two weeks earlier. Its contents were also taken away for additional forensic tests.
Maughan’s DNA was found on a drinks bottle and he became a wanted suspect, leading to warrants being executed at several addresses.
On June 24, 2020, officers stopped a car in Muswell Hill and found Maughan in the passenger seat.
He was taken to a police station and charged the following day with two counts of aggravated burglary, aggravated vehicle taking and possession of an offensive weapon.
Maughan, of Enfield, was convicted in his absence on March 5 after absconding during his trial.
However, he was caught by police and appeared at Wood Green Crown Court on Friday, where he was jailed for eight years.
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Constable John McGranahan, who led the investigation, said: “Maughan, and his accomplices, terrified their elderly victims in their own homes, a place they should have felt safe.
“The level of violence used was truly shocking, and I cannot even imagine what must have been going through their victims’ minds. To target the vulnerable is abhorrent; he has stolen their property and their independence.
“Maughan tried to evade justice by absconding during his trial, however, we were able to track his movements and bring him back before the court. Today, he is beginning a lengthy prison sentence which is rightly deserved.”
Despite the conviction, DC McGranahan added that the investigation into the incidents remains ongoing as officers try to establish who else was involved.
He said: “I would urge anyone who has information that could assist to please come forward. Consider the impact a crime of this nature would have on your parents, or grandparents, and do the right thing.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police via 101 quoting reference Cad 2823/28Feb20. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.