Family speak of gun terror ordeal in home

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A Derbyshire family say they are too scared to sleep at night after masked gunmen subjected them to a terrifying ordeal.

Andrew and Lorraine Eales were at home in Dronfield with their children when three men entered their house and threatened them.

Andrew was knocked unconscious and the couple were tied up, along with their eldest daughter Sophie, 24, who was visiting.

Their three younger children, Joshua, 13, Jordan, 11, and Charlie-May, 7, were in the house throughout the armed attack. The men ransacked the family home - stealing jewellery and cash. The couple, who are directors at Sheffield-based Mercury Taxis, say the impact of the event has been monumental for all the family.

“Me and Andrew just don’t sleep,” said Lorraine, 47. “We haven’t been eating. It’s had an impact on the kids.

“Charlie-May is scared to sleep in her own bedroom and Jordan is just quiet. They are frightened.

“Sophie doesn’t live here but she has had trouble sleeping.

“As soon as it goes dark, I’m a wreck - there’s no point in me saying I’m not.

“If it’s dark we don’t go out.”

Andrew, also 47, says he cannot remember much past the initial moment when the men entered the house and knocked him out.

The nightmare only ended due to the men hearing the doorbell, which was a takeaway delivery driver calling.

They stole his car, which inadvertently blocked the raiders in, a silver Nissan Almeria that was later found abandoned.

Lorraine added: “I think if the delivery man had not come when he did, then we could have been tied up a lot longer.”

Detective Inspector Greg McGill of Chesterfield CID said: “This attack involved young children being threatened by an armed gunman in their own home.

“All of the occupants were subjected to a terrifying attack and I am appealing for anybody with information to come forward and speak to us.

“This attack is especially abhorrent given the threats towards the children and the people responsible must be caught.”

The men are described as white with broad Sheffield accents.

DC Russ Garner who is also investigating the attack added: “This is without doubt the worst crime I’ve ever come across in my whole career.

“The victims should never have to suffer something such as this in their own home. No child should have to be subjected to this sort of incident.”

They were all in their late 20s to early 30s and were wearing tracksuits with the hoods worn up and face coverings.

Anyone with information is asked to contact DC Russ Garner on 101, quoting incident number 697 of March 19.

To report crime anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.