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Schoolgirl fought off machete gang after hearing mum's screams

Mirror logo Mirror 9/03/2017
Credits: Manchester Evening News © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Manchester Evening News

A machete gang was jailed for 40 years after a fearless 12-year-old girl fought back when the armed thugs broke into her home.

Dante Healey ran to the rescue when she heard her mum's screams, foiling the group armed with a hammer, machete and cleaver.

Her actions have been praised after she bravely faced up to a knife thug wearing a Halloween-style mask, who held a machete to her throat.

The three burglars have now been locked up, the Manchester Evening News reports.

The armed gang smashed their way into her family’s Harpurhey, Manchester, home on January 2 - intent on stealing the takings from Dante’s mum’s pub.

Dante Healey, who was in her bedroom, dialed 999 when she heard her mum screaming.

The schoolgirl then ran into the hall and was immediately confronted by ringleader Michael Cannan wearing a Halloween mask, who held a machete to her throat.

But she put her hand out to protect herself, cutting her wrist as she did so, before slipping from his grasp, running down the stairs and opening the door to armed police.

Credits: Greater Manchester Police

Credits: Greater Manchester Police
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc

Recalling the events, Dante told the M.E.N.: “I was on Snapchat to my friend and I heard a noise in the house. To begin with I just froze. I thought: ‘There’s someone in the house’.

“Then I heard my mum screaming. I called 999 and they put me through to the police. I said ‘I know someone is in my house’. I was under the quilt, I was that scared."

She said she wanted to get out so she went on to the landing.

Dante added: “There was a man downstairs in the doorway. I screamed.

"Another man came out of my mum’s room. He was wearing a Halloween mask. He had a machete in his hand and he held it to my throat.

"I put my hand up to protect myself and it cut my hand. There was blood all over my hand and arm.

“He told me to get back in my room. I went back in but I thought ‘I’ve got to get help’. I opened the door. I didn’t look. I didn’t think. It was instinct.

"I just ran downstairs unlocked the door and there were police everywhere. There were loads of police cars. I ran to my neighbour’s house.”

Lisa Booth, Dante’s proud mother and the landlady of The Valley pub in Collyhurst, said she ‘couldn’t be prouder’ of Dante’s brave actions, which helped bring the culprits to justice.

She said: “There were three adults in the house at the time of the burglary and she saved us all from getting hurt.”

Michael Cannan, of no fixed address, was sentenced to 15 years in prison, and was ordered to serve another five years on licence, at Manchester Crown Court.

His accomplices, Patrick Caffrey, 40, of Wembury Street, Moston, and Dean Richardson, 30, of Claremont Road, Salford, were jailed for 14 years and 13 years each. They all pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary.

At the sentencing, the judge spoke out praising the brave schoolgirl, adding: “I commend the family, and particularly Dante, whose bravery and maturity ensured that these three men were brought to justice, and that the ordeal was not prolonged.”

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