Victims speak of their relief after escaped convict recaptured

Armed police surrounded Max Wilson as he sunbathed in Liverpool. He will now start a 14-year prison term.

A family from Honiton has spoken of their relief after the violent, gun-wielding criminal who broke into their home was apprehended following months on the run from police.

Max Michael Wilson, formerly of Chubbards Cross, in Ilton, was apprehended by armed police while he sunbathed in Liverpool last Thursday.

He absconded from Taunton Magistrates’ Court in February and had been on the run for six months.

He failed to appear at his trial in April when he was found guilty of aggravated burglary and possession of a firearm. He received a concurrent sentence of 14 years in prison.

David and Jennifer Taylor, along with their son Gary, were terrorised in their own home, in Rowcroft Close, on January 9, 2011, when two masked men burst in wielding what were thought to be handguns.

Mr Taylor told the Midweek Herald on Monday: “We heard on Thursday afternoon that Max Wilson had been arrested in Liverpool by armed police officers.

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“We are pleased this violent man is back in custody at last and will be off our streets for a long time.”

Days before the offence took place Mr Taylor had advertised a Ford Focus car for sale.

The remaining balance of �5,800 was handed over the day before the burglary took place.

The Taylors’ son, Gary, who suffered multiple stab wounds during a struggle with one of the offenders, tore off a balaclava, which proved to be a pivotal piece of evidence in the case against Wilson.

Mr Taylor said: “Max Wilson put our family through a terrifying ordeal - my wife Jennifer especially, as she is still very nervous and on medication as a result of his actions.”

Mrs Taylor has suffered from anxiety and has been afraid to leave her house.

She said: “I feel better now that I know where he is.

“I am happy he is behind bars rather than running around, which is where he should be.”

Mr Taylor added: “I feel we can move on as a family.

“We would like to thank the ambulance crew who were first on the scene – they could not have been more helpful. They were marvellous.

“We would also like to thank PC Roy Hutter and DC Steve Harrington, and the police for all their support and hard work and effort they have put into this case.”

The family thanked their family, friends and neighbours for their support and kindness.

Detective Superintendent Sue Scott, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “This was a joint operation and investigation by Avon and Somerset and Devon and Cornwall Constabularies with significant support being provided by Merseyside Police, demonstrating effective cross border working with our colleagues up and down the country.

“I believe this case demonstrates our relentless commitment to ensuring that offenders are brought to justice.

“It should send a clear message to both the public and to criminals that we will take robust, effective and persistent action against those who commit crime.

“I am pleased that Wilson has been arrested and that justice has been done.”