A Sussex shooting world champion said he will be ‘scarred forever’ after masked men broke into his house, terrorising him and his wife.
Four men wearing balaclavas and dark clothing broke into George and Kate Digweed’s home in Ewhurst Lane, Northiam, East Sussex, at around 8pm on Sunday (February 21).
The thieves stole thousands of pounds in cash plus two of Mr Digweed’s shotguns and silverware from his shooting successes before leaving in the couple’s car.
The multi-British, European and world clay pigeon shooting champion said: “Unfortunately, Kate and I were the victims of a horrific attack on Sunday night when masked men broke into the house.
“I was badly beaten and we were both subjected to a horrible period of time, during which they stole money, guns, trophies, medals and my black Toyota Hilux.
“The guns taken were a Benelli auto and a new Perazzi high tech.”
The suspects smashed through French doors at the back of the house with one of them carrying a hammer.
Mr Digweed, 51, was hit in the head and suffered a cut before being forced to open a safe and his wife, 47, was told to hand over car keys.
“We are both mentally scarred forever,” he said. “I’m also pretty sore.
“ I’m going to try and carry on with my normal schedule as soon as I can and both of us are hoping that the ensuing months and years are a great healer.
“Sussex Police have been fantastic and obviously have a detailed on-going investigation.
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has sent messages of support in this difficult time.”
Mr Digweed has been extremely successful in clay pigeon shooting, winning 26 World Championships, 18 European Championships, 116 International Championships, 16 World Cups, 10 European Cups and 11 British & English Championships and has an MBE.
Detective Inspector Rob Morland said: “This violent incident has understandably been a distressing ordeal for the victims.
“The suspects smashed through French doors at the back of the house with one of them carrying a hammer.
“I would urge anyone who was in the area and saw anything suspicious to get in touch.”
Witnesses or anyone with information can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101, quoting Operation Deansway.
Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage
2) Like our Facebook page
3) Follow us on Twitter
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
Always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.