Gang jailed after brutal robbery of Fife widower

Ian Masterton is now a virtual recluse, barricading himself inside his house every night. Picture: Lesley Donald

Ian Masterton is now a virtual recluse, barricading himself inside his house every night. Picture: Lesley Donald

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A MASKED gang of four men who broke into a widower’s home, terrorised him and robbed him of his £90,000 life savings have been jailed.

Gary Carcary, 20, Mark Dickie, 28, John McLeese, 28, and Andrew Dickinson, 28, were jailed for a total of 37 years at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday.

They were part of a gang of five that smashed their way into 55-year-old Ian Masterton’s home in Lochore, Lochgelly, Fife, just after 10pm on 26 September 2013. A fifth gang member has never been traced.

Outside court, Mr Masterton’s daughters, Linda and Vicky Masteron welcomed the sentences. Linda Masterton said: “We’re delighted with the outcome. These men are now behind bars where they belong for a long time. However, my dad’s got a life sentence. It was despicable what they did and the level of violence they used. My dad’s now got a lot of psychological issues. He barricades himself inside his home every night putting a big wooden batten across the door.”

Vicky Masterton said: “These men put my dad through a 45 minute ordeal after smashing their way through his door with axes. He was also tied up and at one point managed to get the ties off and tried to escape, but one of the gang was outside the room and caught him.”

Mr Masterton’s sister Anne and her husband Stewart Wheatley added: “Ian has become a virtual recluse. He has difficulty living with what they did to him. He lost his savings and now he doesn’t feel safe in his home.”

After the raid, Carcary, a former Hutcheson’s Grammar pupil, had sent a picture to a friend of a wad of cash.

When his car was searched, police found a home-made balaclava, cut up stockings, gloves, a hooded top, phone and a receipt for two Rolex watches bought for more than £11,000.

Advocate depute Jim Keegan QC, prosecuting, said none of the £90,000 stolen cash was ever recovered. He added that Mr Masterton’s home had been under surveillance by the gang for days before the robbery.

Judge John Morris QC sentenced Carcary, of East Kilbride, to nine years, Dickie, of Johnstone, to eight years and McLeese, of Ardrossan, and Dickinson, of Paisley to ten years each.

Judge Morris said: “This is a despicable offence of utmost wickedness. You broke into the home of Mr Masterton, the place where he was entitled to feel safe. His confidence to live in that home is now gone because you were all greedy. None of you have any concept of what you have done.”

The court heard that Dickie was the only one who showed any humanity to Mr Masterton, by giving him a cigarette.

During the terrifying ordeal, which happened two weeks after the first anniversary of his wife’s death, Mr Masterton was assaulted and subjected to chilling threats. He eventually revealed where they could find his cash.

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