Two men who carried out a terrifying attempted robbery resulting in the death of a woman in her Leeds home have been sentenced after being found guilty of manslaughter.
Samuel Hanrahan, aged 20, and Jerry Hanrahan, aged 18, targeted the family residence of 64-year-old Nhi Muoi Wai in Millside Walk, Morley, on March 28 of this year.
Initially, they visited the residence while Mrs Wai was home with her son and daughter, offering to do some work. After being declined, they left only to return shortly thereafter, making threats and demanding the keys to a high-performance car parked on the driveway.
Jerry Hanrahan, wielding a large screwdriver, smashed a front window of the house while continuing to press for the keys.
Upon learning that the police had been alerted, the two men fled empty-handed. Mrs Wai, a mother of six and a grandmother known as Kim, collapsed from shock in front of her children.
Ambulance staff attended to Mrs Wai at the scene before rushing her to the hospital, where it was confirmed that she had suffered a massive stroke. Her condition deteriorated, and she was later pronounced dead that day.
Detectives from West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team launched an investigation into the incident. Detailed forensic analysis revealed a direct causal link between the stroke and the extreme anxiety and distress Mrs Wai experienced during the home invasion.
House-to-house inquiries confirmed that the suspects had been visiting nearby homes, offering to do work leading up to the incident. Crime Scene Investigators recovered Jerry Hanrahan’s DNA at the address in Millside Walk.
CCTV footage in the area identified a dropped cigarette butt by one of the suspects in a nearby street. Forensic testing confirmed a match for Samuel Hanrahan’s DNA.
Jerry Hanrahan was apprehended while in a vehicle in North Yorkshire on April 4 and was flagged in police systems as wanted by West Yorkshire Police for the Morley incident. Samuel Hanrahan was arrested at his residence in Manchester on April 14. Both declined to comment during their police interviews.
Initially, they were both charged with attempted robbery and after extensive consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, manslaughter charges were added to their indictment at Leeds Crown Court on July 21.
Jerry Hanrahan had previously pleaded guilty to attempted robbery, and Samuel Hanrahan entered a guilty plea to the same offence during the July hearing. On September 7, both pleaded guilty to the manslaughter charges.
They were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court yesterday. Jerry Hanrahan, of Cottingley Springs, Leeds, received a nine-year and nine-month sentence for manslaughter, with a concurrent term of seven years and six months for attempted robbery. Samuel Hanrahan, of Oakley Close, Manchester, was imprisoned for nine years for manslaughter, with a concurrent sentence of five years and seven months for attempted robbery.
Mrs Wai’s family provided victim’s 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.”