Family in fear after violent robbery of lecturer

THE wife of a university lecturer who suffered “extreme” facial injuries at the hands of an armed gang during a burglary has said the couple’s four daughters no longer feel safe in their own home.
Paul Kohler: extreme injuries . Picture: PAPaul Kohler: extreme injuries . Picture: PA
Paul Kohler: extreme injuries . Picture: PA

Samantha MacArthur, 50, said she has no idea why her family were targeted in the attack that nearly cost her husband Paul Kohler an eye. Kohler, 55, head of law at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, needed reconstructive surgery after the gang of four burst into the house in Wimbledon and demanded money.

Police released a picture of Kohler’s shocking injuries and two men have been charged over the incident, while two more remain at large.

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MacArthur said: “I can’t get the picture of him after the attack out of my head. He was all covered in blood. Paul has been immensely brave but of course he’s shaken up and shocked by what’s happened.”

Detectives yesterday released new CCTV images in a hope to catch the other suspects. The footage, taken a minute after the attack, depicts a panicked man fleeing through Wimbledon Theatre car park. He can be seen removing surgical gloves.

Last Monday, Kohler opened the front door at the Kings Road property to four balaclava-clad men, who assaulted him and repeatedly shouted: “Where’s the money?”

MacArthur was threatened by two men who attempted to tape her down to a chair. Their daughter Eloise and her boyfriend Ger, both in their twenties and who were upstairs, called 999 from a locked room.

Kohler is in a south London hospital with facial injuries and bruising. He is undergoing surgery and treatment for a fractured eye socket.

Two men have been remanded in custody charged with aggravated burglary and grievous bodily harm.