Tell me why you attacked me at home, professor urges burglars

Have your say

A university professor who was savagely beaten in his home by a gang of burglars has faced them in court and demanded they explain “the real reason” he was targeted.

Paul Kohler, 55, suffered a fractured eye socket, a fracture to his left jawbone, a broken nose and bruising that left him “utterly unrecognisable” during the attack at his home in Wimbledon, south London.

His wife, Samantha MacArthur, 50, was also threatened by two of the four intruders on the night of August 11 last year.

As the group of four Polish nationals’ sentencing got under way at Kingston Crown Court, Mr Kohler said that their crime had “nothing to do with immigration”.

Delivering his witness statement flanked by Ms MacArthur, he said: “The attack on our home destroyed the calm of a family evening.

“The pointless ferocity and utter senselessness endangered my family’s peace of mind, my physical and our psychological well-being and risked fomenting issues within the wider community both in Wimbledon and beyond.”

Mr Kohler added: “We want to put this behind us and to do so successfully we need to understand why we were attacked. I consequently want to say to each of the attackers that, if you are genuinely remorseful, you will waste no more time in telling us, through your counsel if you wish, the real reason we were targeted.”

He also said that the attack had “allowed some to push an anti-Polish agenda which sullied the name of a proud and honourable nation”.

Pawel Honc, 24, of no fixed abode, and Mariusz Tomaszewski, 32, of Crusoe Road, Mitcham, south London, have admitted causing Mr Kohler grievous bodily harm with intent and aggravated burglary.

Two other men, Oskar Pawlowicz, 30, of Pitcairn Road in Mitcham, and Dawid Tychon, 29, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary. The defendants were remanded back into custody and told they would be sentenced at midday today.