Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'The First Punch Took My Eye Out. but I Just Kept Thinking about My Wife and Daughter' FATHER TELLS OF BRUTAL ATTACK IN PS2M HOME AS POLICE RELEASE CCTV IMAGE OF SUSPECT

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'The First Punch Took My Eye Out. but I Just Kept Thinking about My Wife and Daughter' FATHER TELLS OF BRUTAL ATTACK IN PS2M HOME AS POLICE RELEASE CCTV IMAGE OF SUSPECT

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Blunden and David Churchill

AN ACADEMIC told today for the first time how he tried to fight off raiders in a desperate bid to protect his family, despite suffering appalling injuries and being half-blinded. Father-of-four Paul Kohler was left unrecognisable by the savage beating and spent two days on the operating table as surgeons battled to rebuild his shattered eye and forehead.

He spoke out as police today released new CCTV footage of a suspect captured just seconds after the bloody eight-minute attack at his PS2 million home in Wimbledon.

Speaking from his bed at a south London NHS hospital, Mr Kohler told the Standard: "The first punch in the hall took my eye out.

"I thought I had lost the eye at that stage as it stopped working. But I just kept thinking of my wife and daughter and her boyfriend upstairs. "The men got me on the floor but I managed to stand up and at one stage traded blows with them.

"I got a few blows in but these were thumps like I never had in my life. They could really punch."

Police are investigating whether Monday's attack was linked to Mr Kohler's ownership of a cabaret bar in central London.

One line of inquiry is that the four masked men were looking for takings from the Cellar Door in Covent Garden, which hosts cabaret, burlesque and drag. But Mr Kohler said he believed the attack may have been a case of mistaken identity. The head of law at the School of Oriental and African Studies added: "I was thinking that they had the wrong house. "English was not their first language but they were using the definite article talking about 'the money', like there was a particular stash but there was no money to give them."

Mr Kohler and his wife Samantha MacArthur, 50, were playing a board game with eldest daughter Eloise and her boyfriend when four men arrived at their home at about 10pm.

He said the men demanded money and ransacked the house. His wife was pinned down on the landing and Eloise locked herself in a bedroom and called 999. …

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