R v Thomas Prior and Mark Winstanley

July 10, 2015

Thomas Prior and Mark Winstanley each received 12 years’ imprisonment after being unanimously convicted by a jury at Warrington Crown Court of aggravated burglary and kidnap. Oliver King prosecuted.

The defendants broke into a house in Wigan and threatened the occupants at knife point. The 57-year-old female occupant was violently assaulted during the ordeal. The defendants also kidnapped her 17-year-old granddaughter and bundled her into a car. She was able to escape before barricading herself with her grandmother in the house until police arrived. Both defendants denied being at the address but were identified through Facebook and picked out at video identification parades. Thomas Prior is already serving a sentence for kidnap and blackmail in which he was part of a gang that bundled a man into a car at gunpoint and demanded money.

The officer in the case recognised it was a difficult case to prosecute as the defendants were identified through Facebook.

Click here to read the article in the Manchester Evening News.