Brothers jailed for scaring Grandmother to death in robbery attempt

Two men who carried out a terrifying attempted robbery that caused the death of a woman at her home in Leeds have been jailed after being convicted of her manslaughter.

Samuel Hanrahan, 20, and Jerry Hanrahan, 18, targeted the family home of 64-year-old Nhi Muoi Wai in Millside Walk, Morley, on March 28 this year.

They initially called at the address, while Mrs Wai was at home with her son and daughter, and asked if they needed any work doing. After being told no, they left but returned a short time later, making threats and demanding the keys to a performance car parked on the driveway.

Jerry Hanrahan, who was armed with a large screwdriver, smashed a front window of the house as the pair continued to make demands for the keys.

The two men fled empty-handed when they were told the police had been called.

Mrs Wai, who was a mother of six and a grandmother and was generally known as Kim, collapsed from the shock of the ordeal in front of her son and daughter.

Mrs Wai, was treated at the scene by ambulance staff before being rushed to hospital, where it was confirmed that she had suffered a massive stroke. Her condition continued to deteriorate and she was pronounced dead later that day.

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Detectives from West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team launched an investigation into the incident.

Detailed forensic pathology showed a direct causal link between the stroke and the extreme anxiety and distress Mrs Wai had experienced during the attack on her home.

House-to-house enquiries established that the suspects had been calling at other nearby homes offering to do work in the lead up to the incident.

The work of Crime Scene Investigators at the address in Millside Walk led to the recovery of Jerry Hanrahan’s DNA.

Analysis of CCTV in the area identified a cigarette butt that had been dropped by one of the suspects in a nearby street. Forensic testing showed a match for Samuel Hanrahan’s DNA.

Jerry Hanrahan was arrested when stopped in a vehicle in North Yorkshire on April 4 and was shown on police systems as being wanted by West Yorkshire Police for the Morley incident.

Samuel Hanrahan was arrested at his home address in Manchester on April 14.

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Both gave no replies in their police interviews.

They were both initially charged with attempted robbery and, following lengthy and detailed liaison with the Crown Prosecution Service, manslaughter charges were later added to the indictment for both at Leeds Crown Court on July 21.

Jerry Hanrahan had previously pleaded guilty to the attempted robbery and Samuel Hanrahan entered a guilty plea to that offence at the hearing in July.

On September 7, both entered guilty pleas to the manslaughter charges.

They were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court today.

Jerry Hanrahan, of Cottingley Springs, Leeds, was sentenced to nine years and nine months for manslaughter with a concurrent term of seven years and six months for attempted robbery.

Samuel Hanrahan, of Oakley Close, Manchester was jailed for nine years for manslaughter with a concurrent sentence of five years and seven months for attempted robbery.

Mrs Wai’s family provided victim personal statements to the court.

In one, made on behalf of all her children, Mrs Wai’s daughter Emmie Wai said: “Our mum was taken too soon. The day her life ended was the day ours ended too. We can never get our lives back to normal and we have to deal with this overwhelming sadness and loss for the rest of our lives. This has left the deepest hole in our hearts and we all miss our beautiful and kind mother so much.”

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Suzanne Hall, who led the investigation, said: “The family of Mrs Wai have been left completely devastated by her death, which was totally unnecessary and was a direct result of the selfish criminal actions of this pair.

“They created an absolutely terrifying situation when they targeted the family’s home that afternoon. The level of fear their threatening behaviour produced was just too much for Mrs Wai to take, with utterly tragic consequences.

“A thorough and comprehensive investigation of the incident resulted in these men being identified and arrested.

“We were determined to see them held fully responsible, not just for the attempted robbery but for their involvement in Mrs Wai’s death that would not otherwise have occurred had they not been there acting the way they did.

“Supported by expert medical evidence, we liaised closely with our colleagues in the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure that manslaughter charges were secured against both defendants.

“The strength of that evidence and the case against them resulted in their guilty pleas, and also meant the family were able to avoid the additional strain of a criminal trial.

“We hope it will give them some degree of comfort to know that these two men have now been brought to justice and held accountable for the pain they have caused.”

Detective Superintendent Marc Bowes, Head of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “This was a very challenging investigation, and it is testament to the dogged determination of DI Hall and her investigation team that we have been able to secure manslaughter convictions against both these men which fully capture the extent and impact of their criminality.

“It should send a very clear deterrent message to others that we will always do everything we can, on behalf of victims and their families, to take the strongest possible action against those whose offending causes such harm in our communities.”

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