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Brave mum bit masked intruder brandishing gun
A NURSE told jurors of her “fear and shock” at being confronted on her doorstep by two masked men with hooded tops, one brandishing a firearm.
Louise Henning had just returned to her home in Testwood Lane, Totton , where she lives with her husband, Luke, and their two children, when she answered a knock on her front door and found two men in front of her.
Giving evidence at Southampton Crown Court Mrs Henning told how the slimmer of the two men was holding a black handgun with diamond shaped or criss-cross markings across the barrel.
She said: “He held it in front of him across his chest. I don’t know anything about guns. I assumed it was a fake. I have never seen a real gun. I was shocked – fear and disbelief.”
Giving evidence from behind a blue curtain Mrs Henning, who is just 4ft 11in tall, said scarves covered the men’s faces up to their eyes.
The slim man told her not to scream and pushed her back, but she fought back in self defence and for that of her toddler son, who was playing with toys in the sitting room.
She told jurors: “I put my hand out to get him off me and made contact with his face and I dug my nails in.
“He put his hands over my mouth to stop me screaming and I bit one of his fingers. I bit him as hard as I could. I held on and he pulled his hand away.”
Mrs Henning said some of her front teeth were loosened and she was bleeding from her mouth. She then described how she flicked blood about, hoping it would get on them and could be used as evidence. Mrs Henning described how she was pushed to the floor where she was held by the neck by the larger of the two men while his accomplice rummaged upstairs.
She continued: “I asked the large man if I could get my baby. I was quite frantic. He replied: ‘I can see him, he’s all right.”
Unable to free herself, eventually the child crawled over and she held him, shushing and kissing him to keep him still while the slim man searched the kitchen, shouting that he was going to shoot her.
Mrs Henning described to jurors how she was taken to the sink and made to wash her hands as one of the robbers ran his hand under her nails to try and remove any traces of DNA from when she had scratched at his face.
When the pair eventually left she managed to call her husband who drove home and found her “hysterical and terrified” with her face covered in blood.
Mrs Henning told jurors she suffered bruising to her neck and shoulders, sore ribs and had two front teeth loosened. She confirmed she had not recognised either intruder and they had no links with criminals.
Mrs Henning was giving evidence in the trial of Jamie Dalton, 21, of Kingsdown Way, Southampton, and Matthew Harfield, 35, of no fixed abode, who deny aggravated burglary and possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Southampton Crown Court has heard Harfield was arrested two days after the incident last February after police studied CCTV of his van being driven in the area on the morning of the burglary and his blood was found on Mrs Henning’s shoes.
Dalton was arrested 11 days later and his DNA was discovered under her nails.