Couple tell of break-in terror

"I saw the gun and thought I was going to die."That was the comment today from an Ipswich man who grappled with a gun-wielding burglar who had broken into his marital home.

"I saw the gun and thought I was going to die."

That was the comment today from an Ipswich man who grappled with a gun-wielding burglar who had broken into his marital home.

Today, as guidelines on the amount of force householders can use against burglars is published, he told how he fought to protect his wife and home.

It was at 1.30am on the morning of October 24 when Aimee and Alastair Wright returned from a night out to their home, in Bostock Road, Ipswich.

Mrs Wright, 19, said: "We had just gone to bed when we heard a noise of something being smashed. At first we thought the dog had broken something but soon realised he was in the bedroom with us."

The couple decided to go and investigate and after checking all the rooms upstairs they went to investigate together.

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"I was really scared going downstairs, but when we got there nothing was there," she added.

After checking every room, the couple decided it must have been something happening out in the street and made their way back to bed.

Then they heard an almighty bang.

Mrs Wright said: "We had just got to the bottom of the stairs when someone burst in through the living room window taking the blinds, TV and stereo with him."

The intruder was dressed in dark clothing and was wearing a black balaclava and sunglasses.

Mr Wright, 23, decided he had to protect his wife.

He said: "He fell on the floor and I tried to hold him down. That's when he pulled out the gun.

"As soon as I saw it I thought I was going to die. I really thought our lives were in danger and I told him he could take anything in the house if he just gave me the gun."

Mrs Wright continued: "At this point I was thinking we needed help and the more noise I could make the more people I was likely to wake up.

"I ran to the front door to get help and my next door neighbour was already standing there. He had heard the broken window and the screams and came over to see if we were all right."

The two men grappled with the intruder while Mrs Wright called the police.

The intruder tried to escape, but the pair ran after and tackled him. Another neighbour joined them and they held him in the garden.

Within minutes three police cars, one police van and an ambulance arrived on the scene.

Mr Wright said: "The whole situation felt like a dream. It seemed like something out of the movies. I would never confront a man with a gun but the adrenaline just took over and I knew I had to stop him."

The couple, who had only moved into the house two months before the burglary happened, said it was a long time after the incident before they slept in the house again.

Mr Wright added: "We are getting extra security fitted in the house now and I don't think I will ever sleep soundly again. We stayed with relatives for several nights after the event because we were too scared to stay in the house."

The couple now says they would like to warn everyone to ensure they have sufficient security.

Mrs Wright added: "We would also like to thank the neighbours for their help. I think Alastair felt relieved when he realised someone was coming to help and I know I was pleased to see them. We would also like to thank the police for coming so quickly."

Police are still investigating the incident and have yet to find the culprit.

Anyone with information is asked to call Suffolk police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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