A Cotswolds hotel general manager has told of the terrifying ‘horror film’ moment when three masked men smashed a window and jumped through to attack and rob him.
Adrian Cuddy was just finishing work at the historic Frogmill Inn at Shipton Oliffe, at 1am on November 30 last year, when he saw a face staring through the window at him.
“Moments later three men wearing balaclavas smashed through the glass window and attacked Mr Cuddy, forcing him to the ground face down and telling him they had knives,” said prosecutor Julian Kesner at Gloucester crown court on Friday.
“Mr Cuddy felt a knife being applied to his back making him fear for his life. The three men took Mr Cuddy’s iPhone and demanded money from the hotel safe.
“They forced Mr Cuddy to take them to the room where the safe is located and was told that if he shouted they would stab him.
“Mr Cuddy, fearing for his life, opened the safe and the three men took the £1,824 in cash.”
Mr Kesner told the court that blood on the window and Mr Cuddy’s jacket was forensically examined by experts and was matched with Leon Harris, 36, of Buscombe Gardens, Gloucester.
Harris pleaded guilty to robbing Mr Cuddy of £1,824 and his phone.
Judge Recorder Paul Dunkels QC commented: “It is clear that Mr Cuddy is still suffering from the effects of seeing the intruder through the window and having his life threatened by three men.”
Kannan Siva, defending, said: “I concede that even though Mr Cuddy suffered no physical injury, he has suffered psychologically and the incident has left its mark on him.
“He does realise he will be receiving a substantial prison sentence.”
Recorder Dunkels jailed Harris for seven years and told him: “You held Mr Cuddy face down on the floor and he had every reason to fear for his life, believing he would be stabbed.
“It was a terrifying experience for him, especially as you forced Mr Cuddy to open the safe.
“He felt he could no longer work at the hotel and has had to have medication and counselling to enable him to sleep at night.”
The judge also ordered Harris to pay £170 victim surcharge.