War hero tells of ordeal with burglar

A WAR veteran has described the terrifying moment when he was attacked by a burglar he confronted who then tried to run him over. John Ryan spotted a man loading up a car with furniture from the house he spent the past four years building.

A WAR veteran has described the terrifying moment when he was attacked by a burglar he confronted who then tried to run him over.

John Ryan spotted a man loading up a car with furniture from the house he spent the past four years building.

When the 80-year-old, who lives next to the home he built, went to ask what was happening the man punched him in the stomach and he briefly passed out.

The pensioner came round just in time to see the burglar driving the car straight at him and he was only just able to get out of the way.


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The J registration Ford Mondeo then sped off from the house in the Parson's Heath area of Colchester but the brave pensioner, who served with the Royal Ulster Rifles, managed to get give descriptions which could help police find the man responsible.

Mr Ryan said at least £1,000 of his furniture and belongings were stolen including ornaments, a clock, bread making machine, microwave and tiles from around the fireplace.

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There was also substantial damage to the back door which was kicked open to gain entry along with a window which was smashed.

Speaking yesterday , Mr Ryan said he had not been able to sleep since the incident between 8am and 9am on Tuesday.

The former builder said: “This has broken my heart - he assaulted me and then he tried to kill me with his car.

“He told me he had come along to pick up furniture for the people who I am selling the house to, but when I asked him who it was, he came at me.

“He knocked me clean out for a few seconds and I was up against the fence, but I managed to scramble out of the way as he drove at me.

“He shot out into the road and could have hit another car. I wish he had done, then I would have got him.”

Mr Ryan said he thought the man could have been there throughout the night trying to empty the house and a neighbour said he had seen another car parked in the drive the previous evening.

It was the third time Mr Ryan has been the victim of a burglary at the property, although on the previous occasions the thieves did not get into the house and stole from a trailer parked in the drive.

Detective Inspector Stuart Smith, of Colchester police, said: “Fortunately incidents of this nature are very rare in Colchester and this must have been extremely unpleasant for the victim.

“We would not encourage people to challenge criminals in situations like this. We would always advise people to dial 999 and leave it to us.”

The suspect was described as a white man, 5tf 9ins, slim build, aged 20 to 24 and with short brown hair. He was wearing blue jeans and a beige pullover.

Anyone with information should call Colchester CID on 01206 762212

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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