AN online currency trader was stabbed by an armed robber from Blackburn who then stole his prized French bulldog, a court heard.

Corey Fricker, 27, is now beginning a 13-year jail term after the attack on father-of-one Kieren Hamilton, at his home near Oldham.

Fricker, of Glenluce Crescent , Shadsworth, was sentenced at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to robbery and an unrelated charged of possession of amphetamines with intent to supply.

Fricker is reported to have been arrested by police after he left a balaclava at the scene.

Mr Hamilton was asleep at his home in Chadderton, in January, when Fricker and another man burst in.

His baby daughter Esmae was left screaming a in bedroom as their 20-minute ordeal unfolded.

And his girlfriend's brother, Joe Hall, who was asleep elsewhere in the property, was also threatened.

Shortly after the raid took place, Mr Hamilton told our sister paper, the Oldham Times, how he was awoken to find a knife, carried by one of the intruders, being held to his throat.

The pair then began searching the property for money, before fleeing with his laptop and a mobile phone.

But before they left they also snatched his French bulldog puppy Rambo.

The 21-year-old said: "The whole thing just doesn't seem real. It was like a film. I don't remember a lot of what happened.

"I just remember they kept asking for cash. I was telling them over and over I didn't have what they were asking for but they could take what I had. I was scared for Esmae. It's terrible she's been through that.

""I suspect it was a twisted tip-off - a targeted attack on me, maybe because of what I do for a living.

"They prodded and stabbed me with the knife. It seemed to go on for ages.

"I'm lucky Joe was with me as he was calm and phoned the ambulance when they had gone. I was just in a daze. I lost a lot of blood. Who knows what would have happened if I'd been on my own with Esmae."

Before they left, he was slashed to the arm and needed hospital treatment. The second raider was never caught.

In the wake of the robbery he offered a £1,000 reward for the return of Rambo, and a further £2,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible.

He suspected he may have been targeted because of his job as a crypto-currency trader.

Det Chief Insp James Faulkner, senior investigating officer, said the intruders used a "a staggering level of violence...on two people who were sleeping in the safety of their own home.

He added: "To take possessions and money is one thing, but to break in, assault them and steal their beloved dog, is horrific."