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Burglary victim had to 'fight for his life'

By Scott D'Arcy

The victim of a violent burglary has told how he "fought for his life" in the brutal attack by a gang of armed men.

University law lecturer Paul Kohler needed facial reconstruction surgery after sustaining a fractured eye socket in the burglary at the home he shares with his wife and four daughters.

He said he felt like he was either the victim of mistaken identity or a "stupid assumption" the couple were sitting on a pile of cash as they own a Covent Garden bar.

From his hospital bed, Mr Kohler (55) said: "I felt I had to defend my home and my family. I really was fighting for my life."

Mr Kohler opened the front door to whom he believed may have been one of his daughter's friends but found four balaclava-clad men bursting into his home, before they assaulted him and shouted: "Where's the money?"

Mr Kohler and his wife, Samantha MacArthur (50), were saved as a police officer intervened. Their daughter Eloise and her boyfriend Ger, who were upstairs at the time, had managed to call 999 for help from a locked room.

The day after the attack, police released a picture of Mr Kohler's shocking injuries and two men have so far been charged, while two more remain at large.

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