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Police pulled petrified woman through window to safety after horror home invasion

Jamie Shaw.
Jamie Shaw.

Police pulled a terrified woman to safety through her broken kitchen window after a masked thug broke in, abducted her – and threatened to kill her.

When Jamie Shaw, who had his face covered with a Skeleton mask, smashed his way into the woman’s home in Peterhead, she hid in terror in her bathroom and called 999 in fear for her life.

But when the 26-year-old discovered her, he realised he knew her – but then assaulted her and threw her phone down the toilet.

Police raced to the scene and a dramatic tug of war ensued, with officers trying to haul the woman to safety through a broken window, while Shaw tried to pull her back inside.

Shaw only let go when he was pepper-sprayed twice and went on to assault police officers at hospital and the police station.

Someone knocking at her front door

Fiscal depute Colin Neilson told Aberdeen Sheriff Court the woman was an “acquaintance” of Shaw’s, and they had exchanged text messages a few days earlier.

He said: “The complainer had been unwell and had been in bed all day on February 8 2019.

“At around 4am on Saturday February 9, she was in bed when she was awoken by someone knocking at her front door. Due to the time, she did not answer or check who was there and went back to sleep.

“At around 6am she was in bed when she was again woken by knocking at her door. She got out of bed and looked through the peep hole.

Skeleton mask

“She saw a male with his hood up, wearing a black mask with a white skeleton jaw design covering half his face.

“She was unsure who it was, so did not answer the door and went back to bed.

“The person at the door remained silent. It was the accused.

“A short time later, the complainer heard the sound of glass breaking coming from her kitchen. She got out of bed, ran into the bathroom and locked the bathroom door.

“She phoned the police. While on the phone with the police she could hear someone sniffing and walking about the locus. She thought whoever it was did not know she was in the locus.

“At around 6.15am, the police received a call from the complainer, during which she seemed petrified and was clearly scared to speak.

“She was whispering urgently asking for the police to attend at her address as there was an intruder.

“She advised that she had locked herself in the bathroom and that she was too scared to leave.

Begged police to kick the door down to save her

“Once updated by the call operator that the police were nearby, she begged in hushed tones for them to kick the door in as she was too scared to leave the bathroom to allow them entry.”

Around 10 minutes into the call, Shaw tried the bathroom door handle and the woman responded by shouting that the police were there.

Mr Neilson said: “This evidently did not scare the accused away, nor did the police loudly knocking at the front door of the property around 12 minutes into the call.”

Due to a “misunderstanding on the phone” the woman thought Shaw had left, and eventually unlocked and opened the bathroom door.

The fiscal depute said: “As soon as she did, she saw the accused wearing the same mask he had been wearing when he had knocked at the door earlier.

“He grabbed her by the throat with one hand and shouted ‘shut up’ or similar before pushing her back.

“He removed the mask from his face at which point the complainer recognised the accused.

“The accused punched her once to the face, causing her to fall over the toilet at which point he then grabbed her mobile phone from her and threw it down the toilet.

“This cut off the call to the police, which had recorded the commotion of the immediately preceding assault.

Threat to kill

“The accused threatened to kill the woman. He held the door of the bathroom closed using his foot, preventing her from leaving the room.”

Police officers arrived at the scene and initially walked around the exterior checking for damage. They then heard the woman “crying and screaming, asking for the police to help”.

She was heard to say: “No, Jamie, no. Stop, Jamie. It’s okay, I’ll tell the police it’s fine, I’m scared.”

The woman also said “let me go” several times.

Mr Neilson said: “The complainer tried to barge past the accused in fear of what he might do. She was extremely scared.

“She struggled past the accused, through the living room and into the kitchen where she saw the broken window he had entered through and saw police officers looking through and shouting at her to make her way to the window.

“She appeared at the smashed kitchen window, closely followed by the accused.

“She made clear attempts to exit the property via the window. She screamed for the police to help her get out and scrambled to get over the broken glass.

Tug of war

“The accused repeatedly grabbed her by the neck and body and attempted to pull her back into the kitchen.

“The police took hold of her arms and attempted to pull her out of the window.

“The police shouted at the accused to let go of the complainer. They deployed PAVA spray on the accused.”

Shaw then left the kitchen briefly and attempted to pull his hood over his face before returning and grabbing the woman by the neck and pulling her back into the kitchen.

Mr Neilson said: “The police deployed PAVA spray on the accused for a second time. This had a positive effect and the accused let go of the complainer.

“The police managed to pull her through the smashed window out of the locus.”

The woman was left with bruising and swelling to her left cheek, and she suffered cuts to her legs from scrambling through the broken window.

Redness on her neck was thought to have been caused by the pepper spray.

Brandished claw hammer above his head

Mr Neilson said: “One month after the attack, the complainer described how she had felt that she was going to die during the incident. She continued to have difficulty sleeping and felt paranoid.

“She was suffering flashbacks, wouldn’t leave the flat on her own, was desperate to find another home, and was consulting a doctor about the effects of the incident on her mental health.”

When officers entered the flat they found Shaw “brandishing a claw hammer above his head”. He eventually dropped the item after being asked repeatedly to do so.

He was then taken to Fraserburgh Hospital due to the pepper spray being used on him, where his handcuffs were removed so he could use the toilet.

While washing his hands, Shaw “lunged” at an officer and punched him to the neck, leaving redness.

As he was being booked into custody Shaw attempted to headbutt one officer and spat in his face. Shaw further threatened the officer’s family, warning: “I know where you stay. I’m going to get your mother and father.

He also spat in another officer’s face.

‘A housebreaking that went very badly wrong’

Shaw, a prisoner of Low Moss, pled guilty to breaking into the property, abducting the woman and assaulting her to her injury, as well as behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, and assaulting a police officer to his injury.

He also admitted two further charges of assaulting police officers.

Defence agent John McLeod said: “His intention was to rob the premises. He thought it was empty and he was looking for money and drugs.

“This was effectively a housebreaking that went very badly wrong.

“He tells me at that time he had a significant problem with drugs.

“He’d been told about this house was empty. He then knocked at the door first and that wasn’t answered. The reason he knocked first was to check it was empty.

“He then smashed the window with the hammer he’d taken with him for that purpose, nothing else.

“Having entered the premises he was surprised, taken aback, to find not only was there somebody there, but it was somebody that he knew.

“He immediately recognised her and pulled down the mask to say ‘it’s okay, it’s me’.

“What happened effectively was that in his drug-fuelled state at that time, he panicked and behaved disgracefully and seriously.

“Things went from bad to worse.

“By that time police were there. The behaviour in trying to prevent her leaving through the window, he utterly regrets.

“He was subjected to PAVA spray on two occasions. The police having entered the premises he immediately and without thinking picked up the hammer. He was told to drop it and he did.”

Sheriff Philip Mann ordered Shaw to be caged for 30 months, consecutive to a sentence he is already serving.

This article originally appeared on the Evening Express website. For more information, read about our new combined website.