A WIGAN landlord has described the terrifying moment he was viciously attacked by raiders with a hammer and knife.
Jon Roche says he feels lucky to be alive after being set upon by armed thugs who repeatedly hit him in the head after he caught them trying to break into Maypole Community Club, in Warrington Road, Abram.
The club, formerly Abram Labour Club, is owned by the 40-year-old and his wife Sarah and after hearing the alarm going off in the early hours of June 5 the pair, along with son Jack, 18, and another family friend went to see what was going on.
They discovered that the back door had been jammed open but there were no signs of a burglary, so they secured the building and headed back to their house, which overlooks the club.
But just 10 minutes later Jack saw some men heading towards the building at about 2.30am.
Jon said: “Perhaps it was stupid but we went outside to see what they were up to and after a brief conversation with them the next thing I knew one of them was heading towards me with something hidden behind his back.
“I shouted to the others to get back inside quickly but before I knew it one of them was on me with a hammer and he started hitting my in the head.
“These people are absolute animals and need to be caught.
“I feel lucky to be alive, but worry that the next time they strike the victims might not be so lucky.”
Despite numerous blows to the head and body Jon managed get to his knees and began wrestling with the man to get the weapon from him, but soon another man came over with a knife.
He said: “I just kept feeling the hammer hitting me all over my body.
“My 14-year-old daughter was in the house with my niece and Jack’s girlfriend so I was screaming to them to phone the police.”
Regardless of the obvious danger, Sarah, 37, put her own safety aside and ran over to her husband throwing her body on top of him.
She started kicking her legs out to defend them both and eventually they managed to get up and run away back to the house at which point the men ran off.
The family are convinced their attackers are local because they ran away into the nearby estate rather than along the road.
The ordeal has left the entire family shaken up and Sarah is too terrified to go back to the club on her own.
Jon added: “We are honest people and this has left my whole family traumatised but I am determined not to let these men defeat me.”
He added: “I would appeal to anybody who knows anything to come forward and get in touch with the police because without their information these people are free to carry on terrorising innocent people.”
Jon has been left with three deep gashes on his head as well as multiple other cuts and bruises, Sarah is also covered in bruises and the family friend, who is only 18, has a deep cut to his hand, likely to be from being caught with the knife in the struggle.
Police are appealing for anybody with information to call 0161 856 5307 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.