A FATHER-OF-THREE was stabbed to death during a disturbance at a house after a gang stormed their way inside using an old door as a battering ram.
Justin Hague, aged 40, suffered ‘several puncture wounds’ in the melee on Godric Drive, Brinsworth, and staggered outside onto Godric Green, where he was found bleeding.
He was rushed to Rotherham Hospital by ambulance but despite the efforts of medics, he was pronounced dead less than 90 minutes after emergency services were alerted to the incident at 10pm on Saturday.
Two local men in their 20s were arrested on suspicion of murder and held over the weekend and yesterday for questioning.
Three others, also local and in their late teens, were arrested and held on suspicion of aggravated burglary.
Mr Hague, of Whitehill Drive, Brinsworth, is survived by his wife Natalie and their three children – two daughters and a son.
His wife Natalie said: “We are all totally devastated about Justin’s death. It seems a senseless and pointless act which has robbed me of my husband and father to our children. He was a loving and kind husband and his mum has lost a loving son.
“I cannot believe he has gone, I cannot believe he won’t be here with us this Christmas.”
Neighbours yesterday spoke of their shock at the murder and said police had been carrying out house-to-house enquiries asking if anyone had seen or heard anything suspicious in the run up to the stabbing.
One neighbour said: “It came as a surprise when the police came knocking and told us there had been an incident. I only saw Justin that morning with his animals – he was always with his dogs and pottering about with his pigeons in his garden.”
One woman, who did not want to be named, said she saw a gang armed with an old door ramming their way into the semi-detached house. “We heard the commotion at about 10pm and looked out of our window to see what was happening. It was frightening.”
Another resident said the house was occupied by a couple in their 30s with a young daughter. She said she saw three males outside the house on Saturday night and described the attack as ‘very, very frightening’.
Yesterday a white protective sheet was placed around the front door of the crime scene to preserve forensic evidence. The house was under police guard with an area of the road taped off outside.
Scenes of crime officers spent most of the weekend at the house and searched neighbouring gardens.
A police spokeswoman said: “A 40-year-old local man had suffered several puncture wounds. He was found nearby at Godric Green and taken by ambulance to Rotherham District General Hospital. Doctors tried to save him, but the man was pronounced dead at around 11.25pm.”
Anyone with any information should call police on 101.