Father beaten with pickaxe

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nov 30 THIEF INLSA The Westville father, brutally attacked in a robbery at his home, shows his swollen hand that thieves smashed to get at his wedding ring. Photo: DOCTOR NGCOBO

Durban - Armed robbers stormed the home of a Westville North family on Thursday in a similar-style attack to the one endured by a Hillcrest father on Monday night.

In the most recent attack the family’s dad was also beaten, this time with a pickaxe, and the attackers also smashed his finger to get at his wedding band.

In the Hillcrest attack, Douglas Gordon was beaten with a hammer, a gun was shoved in his mouth and the thieves hacked at his hand to get at his wedding ring.

On Thursday the family’s two children, aged 14 and seven, were locked in a bedroom and their mother in another room while the thieves terrorised their father and ransacked the house.

The teenager emerged from the bedroom to try to help his dad and was also beaten up and threatened with death.

Their father has asked that his family not be identified for fear of reprisals.

The whole family was at home when the thieves kicked in their front door at 10am.

They started shouting that they wanted cash and gold. They knocked me to the ground and put a towel over my face and demanded to know where we kept our safe,” he said.

In the Gordon attack, he was suffocated with a pillow and was also told to lead the thieves to a safe.

To stop the attack the teenager told the thieves he would show them where the valuables were kept.

“He was very brave to do that for me. He gave them my wallet, jewellery and digital cameras,” the man said.

But the robbers wanted more. They grabbed the boy, hit him and ripped his T-shirt.

They eventually took laptops, a television set, a DVD player, glasses and watches.

Throughout the ordeal, one of the thieves stayed with the seven-year-old and apparently tried to console her.

The father described the men as professionals, saying they had asked if he had any CCTV cameras inside or outside his house.

“I thought about quickly pressing the alarm button, but that could have jeopardised the safety of my wife and children,” he said. The father added that one of the men then demanded his wedding ring.

“He kept beating my hand and wanted to cut off my finger, but the ring would not come off. They had no concern for me whatsoever.”

The men then left the family in a bedroom before speeding off in the thieves’ own BMW.

Late on Thursday the father was receiving treatment for his injuries and the children and their mother were being given trauma counselling.

Police spokesman Vincent Mdunge said no arrests had been made.

After the Gordon attack police warned that criminals were “out shopping” before Christmas and urged home-owners to tighten up on security and keep panic buttons in easy reach.

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The Mercury


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