A couple who repeatedly stabbed a man after they found him stealing money from inside their flat have been locked up.

Darren McCabe and Donna Simpson took the law into their own hands when they awoke to find Ivan Demani stuffing cash down his jogging bottoms and tried to wrestle it back.

The pair chased the man into the lift of the flats where they lived where they punched and stabbed him with a knife while trying to recover their money the thief hid in his bum cheeks.

Teesside Crown Court heard how CCTV footage captured the pair wrestling with the complainant in the lift before the knife was used to attack him.

Chris Baker, prosecuting, said: “The complainant was struggling with them, there was a knife in McCabe’s hand and the footage showed them both trying to drag him out of the lift before he was put in a headlock.

“He wrestles himself free from them and then all three enter the lift. Ivan Demani was stabbed and struck and Simpson punched him to the head.

“All three briefly leave the lift, then the complainant has the knife held to his through by McCabe. He could be seen searching for the money in his jogging pants.

“The footage then shows Simpson repeatedly stabbing at the man in the back before repeatedly stabbing towards his legs.”

Mr Baker told the court that Mr Demani was suffered three stab wounds and received treatment at hospital but refused to cooperate with the police.

The Northern Echo: Darren McCabeDarren McCabe (Image: Cleveland Police)

McCabe and Simpson, both of Central Mews, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent following the incident in the early hours of August 10 last year.

Robert Mochrie, representing 46-year-old Simpson, said the CCTV footage showed his client’s ‘hopeless’ attempts to stab the man while he was in the lift.

He added: “There were a number of attempts to search him because they are trying to retrieve the money and prevent him from leaving.”

The Northern Echo: Donna SimpsonDonna Simpson (Image: Cleveland Police)

And Philip Standfast, representing McCabe, also 46, said his client also suffered a knife injury and he maintains that the complainant brought the knife to their flat.

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He added: “There was an injury caused to the defendant and that shows that this was a two-way thing.”

Judge Howard Crowson told the couple that they lost their self-defence rights when they repeatedly stabbed the complainant while he was in the lift.

“He entered your home as a burglar,” he said. “You were trying to recover your stolen property but self-defence no longer applied when the knife was used.”

McCabe was sentenced to three years and three months while his partner was jailed for three years.