Battered, bruised and bitten

A businessman has revealed he suffered serious facial injuries in a fight with a man he caught burgling his home in Churchdown.

But while Steve Evans, 62, admits that it was a “nasty and frightening” incident, which left him needing hospital treatment, he does not regret what he did.

And Mr Evans, the chairman of Churchdown-based electrical firm Clarkson Evans, does not see himself as a victim because he helped to bring the offender to justice and recovered the items he had stolen.

Following the June 29 incident, which began while Mr Evans and his wife Sue were out, Leon Gratton, 36, of Cox’s Way, Abbeydale, Gloucester, pleaded guilty to burglary and assault causing actual bodily harm. He is due to be sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court on Thursday.

“We don’t see ourselves as victims”

Mr Evans said: “Although I did have some nasty injuries and looked a mess afterwards, we don’t see ourselves as victims – quite the opposite. We are pleased that through our actions this guy is in custody and we retrieved all our valuables.”

But he conceded that it had been an ‘horrendous’ thing to have gone through, for himself and his wife.

Having come back to the house, the couple found Gratton had broken in and put jewellery and watches into a bag. But he was still in their home and Mr Evans found himself face to face with the burglar.

Determined not to let him get away with the crime and the couple’s belongings, he fought with the much younger man to stop him escaping.

He said: “After quite a struggle I eventually managed to overpower him and hold him until the police arrived. It was a nasty and frightening incident and afterwards I had to be taken to A&E by ambulance to be treated for my injuries, which included a broken nose. I understand that he also received treatment for his injuries.

“It was particularly terrifying for my wife as she saw us fighting and saw me bleeding profusely from my face and nose and she had to run out of the house while dialling 999 and screaming for help.

“Luckily the neighbours heard her and helped me restrain him. The good news though was that we managed to retrieve all of our valuables, including a lot of Sue’s sentimental jewellery.”

Mr Evans said he and Gratton grappled inside and outside the house.

It was when they fell on to the terrace outside, he said, that he sustained the worst of his facial injuries.

But he added that they also included marks on his arm and thumb, caused by Gratton biting him.

The burglar, he said, had a small crowbar and a glass cutter with him, though he did not use them during the fight.

He added that he understood Gratton suffered a broken eye socket as a result of the confrontation, which damaged some of the furniture at the property.

“The blood was absolutely pouring out of my nose. It looked like a murder scene,” he said.

He said he and his wife felt better than they had done following the incident.

“We caught the guy and we’ve got some closure. It would have been much more awful if we had got home five minutes later and the guy had gone,” he said.