UK : "Rather die like a man than a dog"

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UK : "Rather die like a man than a dog"

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2008-03-07 07:27

How three robbers fled after victim fought back.

By Richard Alleyne Last Updated: 2:01pm GMT 23/01/2008 ... ero223.xml

A millionaire businessman single-handedly fought off three armed burglars after they put a knife to his teenage daughter's throat, he told a court. Bernard Dwyer, 51, who runs a construction business, said he believed they would all be killed and decided he "would rather die like a man than a dog" defending his family.

Despite being temporarily knocked unconscious and then stabbed three times in the head, he said he became "invigorated" by the sight of the attackers threatening his 13-year-old daughter Aisling. In a rage he wrestled a gun from the arms of one attacker and then beat and chased the masked raiders from his home.

The Old Bailey heard how the armed trio turned up at Mr Dwyer's luxury home in Uxbridge, west London, a day after battering to death restaurant owner Helen Chung, 65. Mr Dwyer, who was born in the UK, but grew up in County Sligo, Ireland, was sleeping in his house with daughter, now 14, and son Danny, 20.

He said he ran out of his room naked and without his glasses after he heard an almighty crash and his daughter screaming. He was confronted by the three men who ordered him to the floor at gun and knife point and demanded to know where he kept his safe. But even though he was co-operative, the robbers all wearing balaclavas beat him temporarily senseless with a knuckle duster.

Mr Dwyer was knocked unconscious for a few minutes but claims he became "invigorated" when he came round and saw the third robber holding a knife to the throat of his daughter and threatened "I am going to cut your f***ing daughter". "I very quickly and very wisely assessed the situation," said Mr Dwyer.

"These b**tards were out of control. We were going to die anyway, that's what I thought. "I thought if I am going to die then I would rather die like a man than a dog. The guy was standing over me with the gun and I thought if I can move the gun with my arm and make the bullet go into the wall I could come up and bash him."

Mr Dwyer described how he pushed the weapon away from his face before rising up to strike his attacker. "I hit him several times, I hit him plenty," he said. "The man with the knuckle-duster screamed, 'He's fighting back the b**tard, kill the b**tard, he's fighting back."

Mr Dwyer, who was raised on a farm in Ireland, came to Britain with only £30 in his pocket and worked as a labourer but is now a successful businessman with contracts all over the world, said: "Then the guy with the knife came over and plunges it in my head three times. The man with the gun ran off.

"I beat the man with the knuckle-duster out towards the door and closed the bedroom door on him." But the businessman, who is married to wife Jane and has a second son Shaun, 19, told the court how the pair would not leave and tried to push back into the bedroom.

"So we had another bout of fisticuffs," said Mr Dwyer, "But this time I’m in charge of this battle. I let the door go and let them fall in and then, bam, had a go at them again. "I have never used a weapon in my life and it was a great feeling. I grabbed the gun and bashed it across the knuckle-duster guy.

"Next thing is they took off and I chased them down the stairs. I bashed knuckle-duster man with the gun and I broke the handle on his head." The burglars fled empty handed in the car they had stolen from Mrs Chung minutes earlier, the jury has heard. Mr Dwyer was left with broken ribs in the attack as well as 30 cuts to his body and head including a gaping 3cm wound in his thigh.

Dean Atkins, 26, and his brother Michael, 25, are accused of the attack on November 6 2006. It is claimed the two also murdered Mrs Chung the previous night after she refused to reveal the hiding place of her £218,000 life savings when they broke into her home. The third man was said to be Joseph Carty, 21, who later hanged himself in prison.
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