Intruder hits as couple lie-in upstairs

By Victoria White -

A man was stabbed with a screwdriver and hit over the head with a table as he tried to chase an intruder out of his Hastings home.

He and his wife, who did not wish to be named, were having a lie-in when they heard a lot of banging. They later realised from the jimmy marks that this had been the intruder trying all the doors.

"At ten to eight on a Sunday morning, when you hear banging noises, you don't think that it's somebody trying to force entry into your home," the man said.

While the couple heard the banging, they said they did not hear the intruder, thought to be in his late teens, smash a window with a brick.

The man had left his second-storey bedroom when the banging stopped.

When he returned, he saw the intruder at the top of the stairs, carrying two light suitcases containing the man's lodge regalia which had been stored in the bedroom wardrobe.

"I yelled at him and he bashed me with the bags," the man said. "He ran to the stairs and I chased him, but then when he was halfway down the stairs he turned on me."

The intruder wounded the man's upper arm and back with a knife, or screwdriver, before grabbing a hallway table and hitting the man over the head.

After the man started yelling "get out, go away", the intruder left the house.

"The scariest part was that he turned violent," the man said. "He was yelling and making these guttural sounds - they were primeval, like an animal.

"He didn't need to hit me over the head, he could've kept on running."

The couple thought the man had not known that they were home, partly because nobody had been alerted by the banging, and that he had planned to clear the house out.

"You wouldn't go around the bedrooms at 8am if you thought somebody was in the house," the man said.

Before going upstairs, he put a television, and heater from the living room in his car, which he had parked in their carport. He also took meat from a deep freezer in the couple's shed and other items.

The woman had rung police, and said their rapid response had been "marvellous". They organised window repairs and ensured the man received medical attention. The intruder wore gloves, but police were able to find some fingerprints, they said.

The couple did not think they were targeted personally. During summer, the man said, "you get a lot of people coming into rural places, looking for jobs. I'm sure 90 per cent of them are [authentic], but the others are just checking the place out".

- Anyone with information on a man in his late teens, of slight build and around 1.7m tall acting suspiciously around the Longlands Rd area yesterday should call Hastings Police on 06 831 0700 or provide information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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