A MAN who assaulted a couple whilst armed with a gun as their children were sleeping upstairs and also robbed a post office at knifepoint has been jailed.

Jamie McNaughton, 26, of Caerleon Road, Dinas Powys, appearing via videolink at Cardiff Crown Court on yesterday, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, possessing an imitation firearm, namely a BB gun, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm in relation to an incident on September 24, 2016, in Barry and he pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a knife in a public place in relation to another incident in Llanishen, Cardiff, on December 14, 2016.

Jason Howells, prosecuting, said the first incident took place at Maes yr Ysgol in Barry when the man and woman who lived there were present and their five children asleep upstairs.

Mr Howells said: "At some point between 9.15-9.30pm the children were in bed and the couple were in the kitchen with a neighbour.

"The door opened and the defendant, who had climbed over the rear fence, was in the doorway."

The male owner of the house approached McNaughton to try and stop him coming in but the defendant shouted pulled out what looked like a handgun.

"He pointed the weapon at the man and fired it but missed."

Mr Howells told how McNaughton then got the man in a headlock and there was a struggle.

"McNaughton punched the man's lip causing swelling.

"They fell to the floor and the woman pulled at McNaughton's hood and wrestled him out of the house.

"McNaughton fired again and ran off shouting he had had enough," said Mr Howells.

During the struggle, both the man and woman had been struck with the weapon and one of the children had came down and witnessed part of the incident.

The man suffered a swollen lip and cuts to his head while the woman suffered cuts to the head.

Mr Howells said that the incident had meant the family had been forced to move from their house of 14 years because of the incident.

Mr Howell said that gloves and socks had identified the defendant and that pellets from a BB gun and hair had been recovered.

The second incident took place at Llanishen Post Office in Cardiff on December 14, 2016.

The postmistress, who had been working there for 23 years, saw a man by the doorway to the counter waving a kitchen knife of about six to 10 inches.

He was shouting and said: "Give me all the money or you are going to get it."

The postmistress tried to get money from till number two and the man was still demanding the money.

A statement from the postmistress said that she was worried for her staff and other customers which included a mother and her baby in a pushchair.

The postmistress gave him the money and he threw it in the air claiming it was not all the money before accusing her of trying to keep him on the premises.

A total of £880 was taken of which £245 has since been recovered.

One witness described him pacing and ranting outside the post office before the incident and when police arrested him he was banging his head and in an intoxicated state.

The court heard how he has eight previous convictions for 11 offences but none as serious as these.

Peter Wormald for the defence said: "He has served only one prior custodial sentence.

"He was unaware that there were children present but knew it was a domestic dwelling."

The court how he had suffered a tragedy when his long term partner suffered a miscarriage at the end of 2015 and they parted company shortly after.

He was making good progress until then with an apprenticeship as a landscape gardener.

"His references speak highly of him which is far at odds from the individual who carried out these offences," said Mr Wormald.

"It is clear that he is remorseful for the emotional impacts caused and is motivated not to make the same errors of judgement."

In sentencing, Judge Eleri Rees said both offences are "extremely serious."

"The aggravated burglary must have been terrifying.

"The impact on the victims meant they felt compelled to move house," she said.

Turning to the robbery of the post office, she said the incident must have been terrifying for staff and that it had had a profound affect on them.

"These offences were a significant escalation in seriousness and the pre sentence report says you present a high risk of serious harm to the public."

She added that he had shown he was able to live stable life but the use of drugs had spiralled out of control and was the motivation for these offences.

She sentenced him to 12 years with the extension of four years taking it to a total of sixteen years in prison for all the offences.