A GANG burst into a family’s living room demanding cannabis in a bungled robbery.
At least six men barged into the house in Griffin Street, Blackburn in what is believed to be a case of mistaken identify.
One of them grabbed a chain around owner Alan Simpson’s neck before grabbing him by the throat while his wife Michelle looked on in horror.
The men fled after being scared off by the couple’s teenage daughter Laura, who ran down the stairs screaming at the gang to leave her dad alone.
The family yesterday spoke of their terror, and said they were scared to remain in their Mill Hill home of 20 years.
Doctor’s receptionist Michelle, 46, said: “I’m on pins everytime the door goes. It was terrifying, I wouldn’t wish this on anybody. I’m scared to be here on my own.”
Husband Alan, who works at Cavalier Carpets in nearby Dixon Street, said he has had panic attacks since the incident.
The 52-year-old said: “I was scared to death. I was shaking with shock, telling them they had the wrong house.
“We’ve both been signed off work, and I’m on medication for anxiety and stress. We can’t afford to move.”
The pair were at home with daughters Laura, 17, and Jordan 14, as well as Laura’s boyfriend Jordan, 17, at the time of the attack.
Michelle, who was working on her laptop, said: “I heard the door open and looked up to see all these men. Three went straight to the doors inbetween two rooms, and three stayed next to the front door, which they closed behind them.
“I pushed my laptop away and grabbed the phone to call police, but one of them grabbed it off me. He said he was going to take my laptop but I said, ‘no, you are not’.”
Alan, alerted by his wife’s screaming and shouting, opened the sliding doors separating the two rooms, but was attacked by the men, who broke the silver chain around his neck.
He said: “One had my arm and the other had his hand around my throat.
“They were shouting, ‘where’s the weed?’. None of us even smoke. I was shouting, ‘you have the wrong house’. I was shaking like a leaf.”
The men also punched Jordan and took his phone, before bolting when Laura, who has just finished her studies at college, ran downstairs to protect her dad after hearing the commotion.
Michelle added: “She screamed, ‘what do you think you are doing?’ and stood beside her dad.
“They must have realised they were in the wrong house because they ran down the street.
“You don’t expect somebody to open your door and six men to barge in. The front room was just full of men.
“It was over so quickly. Five minutes and it was over with. I keep thinking, ‘what would have happened if Laura had not come down the stairs.”
Alan gave chase, but couldn’t catch up with the men, who ran in the direction of Portland Street. They took two mobile phones, and a cordless house phone in the incident, which happened at around 7.10pm on Sunday.
The men were described as being aged between 30 and 40, speaking with local accents, and were spotted hanging around outside before the attack.
One was white, in his late 30s or 40s, of a stocky, muscular built and was wearing a black, waist length jacket.
A second was white, wearing a grey hoody, and third was white, in his mid to late 40s and wearing oval glasses.
DC Lyndsey Lord said: “We are investigating this could be a case of mistaken identity. Nevertheless, this family were completely terrified and are still affected by what happened.”
To report any information, call police on 101, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111, or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org.