Exmouth trawlerman jailed over terrifying house raids

James Plant Jake Jackson Exmouth Devon jailed ASP

James Plant, left, and Jake Jackson - Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

An Exmouth trawlerman has been jailed for his part in a series of terrifying raids in which householders were asked to hand over money or drugs.

Fisherman James Plant and his friend Jake Jackson got the wrong addresses on two different occasions and only got as far as a locked porch in a third burglary.

They fooled a neighbour at flats in Torquay into leaving the communal front door open before they burst into a man’s home and confronted him in his bed.

Jackson went on to carry out a second raid at another flat just hours later in a second bungled attempt to track down someone called Sonny, Exeter Crown Court was told.

He also stole an imitation Glock handgun in a burglary on an unoccupied flat but was seen leaving and threw it away shortly before police arrested him nearby.

Both men carried out a final burglary at a house in Paignton in which they kicked and smashed in an outer door but no further than the porch.

Plant, aged 35, also known as Hard, who used to crew on an Exmouth based boat but is now living in Queensway, Torquay, admitted two burglaries and an attempt and was jailed for two years by Judge Timothy Rose at Exeter Crown Court.

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Jackson, aged 30, also of Queensway, Torquay, admitted five burglaries or attempts and was jailed for two years and ten months

The judge told them that all the offences had been planned, were linked to drugs or money, and had left the victims terrified.

Miss Holly Rust, prosecuting, said the raids were on houses or flats in Torquay and Paignton in June and December 2020. The only item stolen was the imitation gun.

In the first burglary, a man awoke to find both men demanding drugs and money in the mistaken belief he was called Sonny.

Jackson struck again a few hours later in a nearby property, where he tried to force open the door and was repelled by a tenant who was armed with a knife.

The final burglary was in Paignton in December when both men attacked a house while shouting about drugs and money. They were caught on CCTV at 4.50am taking running kicks at a front door until parts of it broke.

Miss Felicity Payne and Mr Herc Ashworth, defending, said they had both become drug users as a result of issues in their childhood.

They intend to get clean in jail and Plant plans to return to his job as a trawlerman while Jackson will seek work as a bricklayer.

Plant is already in jail for an attack on a crewmate which postdated these offences but was sentenced in June last year.

He was working on an Exmouth-based trawler when he got into an argument with the other man after they landed their catch at Scarborough in March 2021.

He was caught on CCTV as he picked up a National Lottery sign outside a shop on the other side of the quay and used it to batter the victim.