AN axe wielding robber has been jailed for smashing his way into an elderly couple’s home while they were in bed.

Darren Edwards, aged 23, smashed his way through a front window of a Breightmet home at 8.15am on Saturday, January 25.

He confronted the 83-year-old man who was in bed while swinging an axe around his head. The man challenged Edwards by trying to disarm him and suffered several injuries to his hand. He needed the injuries to be dressed several times.

The man’s wife, aged 80, suffered a heart attack following the robbery — the victims believe it was triggered by the raid on the home they have lived in for more than 40 years.

Edwards, formerly of Newby Road, Breightmet, stole sentimental items including a ladies engagement ring with three large diamonds, a woman's 9 carat gold Omega watch with a flexible metal strap, a man's Zenyth watch with a brown leather strap, a man's Guess watch with a steel bangle, a gold chain and blood stained £20 notes which were stained with the victim's blood. The items were never recovered.

Edwards, admitted robbery, and was jailed for seven years at Bolton Crown Court. He will spend an additional three years on licence.

Det Cons Wendy Dawson, from Bolton division, said: "Edwards had absolutely no regard for the elderly couple inside the house.

"They were in bed when they were woken to find a stranger in their house holding an axe and demanding money.

"The elderly man tried to grab the axe off Edwards and when he did he was cut on the hands and Edwards pushed him violently to the floor.

"He stole thousands of pounds worth of jewellery which held a great deal of sentimental value to the couple.

“I know this incident has caused a lot of distress to this couple and their local community.

"I hope today's sentence provides some comfort to this couple and their family that Edwards is where he belong behind bars and will have a long time to reflect on his actions that day."