Armed-gang attack on Harpenden millionaire at home

PUBLISHED: 19:45 02 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:30 06 May 2010

Michael Pattison

Michael Pattison

MILLIONAIRE publisher and businessman Michael Pattison this week relived the nightmare of the evening armed raiders broke into his home and gave him a vicious beating. Mr Pattison, 70, who owns a 100-acre estate in Annables Lane, Kinsbourne Green, was at

MILLIONAIRE publisher and businessman Michael Pattison this week relived the nightmare of the evening armed raiders broke into his home and gave him a vicious beating.

Mr Pattison, 70, who owns a 100-acre estate in Annables Lane, Kinsbourne Green, was at home in his luxury mansion house Whitewalls when the thieves broke in.

The three men - all dressed in black with balaclavas over their faces - got in through an open kitchen window around 9.30pm last Tuesday, September 22.

He said: "I was slumbering in front of the telly - with my wife Janice in another room - when I felt an arm go round my neck in a stranglehold. Another man attempted to tie my arms and legs but I was flailing my arms and legs about trying to fight them off.

"They kept demanding I tell them where the safe was but I kept telling them I didn't have one. They took a long knife on my wall from its scabbard and started to beat me with it. They were also hitting me round the face with what felt like knuckle dusters or a metal object."

Mr Pattison, a grandfather whose main business is International Labmate in Porters Wood, St Albans, demanded to be allowed to sit up because he has blood clots on his lungs and was frightened of the pain in his chest.

One of the men, who all sounded Eastern European, relented and pulled him up into a sitting position.

Meanwhile, his 64-year-old wife had a blanket thrown over her head while they subdued her husband. Then she was frogmarched around the house to collect valuables and jewellery for the thieves once they found there was no safe.

Ironically, she had earlier locked their dogs - an Alsatian and a West Highland terrier - out in their courtyard garden when they started barking furiously around 9pm.

The three men, who came to the back of the house over the fields, made their getaway and Mrs Pattison was able to call the police.

Mr Pattison, a former St Albans district councillor, said: "Fortunately, they only got away with a couple of thousand pounds worth of jewellery and a jar full of about £300 in cash. Whoever tipped them off I had a safe had fed them duff information."

Mr Pattison was taken to hospital and treated for broken ribs and extensive bruising but released the next day.

The three suspects are believed to be in their 30s or 40s. Anyone who can help with enquiries should call the police on 0845 3300222 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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