House raid terror for South Yorkshire family

Police outside property on Spring Lane,Sprotborough.
Police outside property on Spring Lane,Sprotborough.
Have your say

A WEALTHY businessman spoke of his family’s terror as they were robbed at knifepoint at his home on the outskirts of a Doncaster village.

Two masked men both brandishing knives got away with an undisclosed amount of cash from the large detached house near Sprotbrough, occupied by glazing firm boss Adrian Welch.

The father-of-three said it was the worst day of his life, adding: “It was horrendous.”

Mr Welch, aged 44, and his wife, Vicki, were having tea in the kitchen of their home in Spring Lane last Friday while his two youngest children, Harry, 11, and Ruby, six, were playing in the garden when he saw the men approach the property.

They had been driven in a black car up a track at the rear of the property to about 10m away from the house.

“I looked out the window and saw them wearing colourful masks. They came at me - it was the biggest shock ever,” he said.

“Me and Vicky had run out and one of them put a knife to my throat and the other was threatening Vicki and the kids, telling them, ‘Lay down, lay down’, and swearing at them.”

The thugs demanded to know where Mr Welch kept his money and threatened him until he found the key and opened a safe to hand over a bag of money.

“I was fumbling to get the key and he must have thought I was looking for a weapon so he jabbed the knife towards my face,” he said.

“After I gave him the money he demanded jewellery and smashed me under the chin with his fist, which dazed me.”

A neighbour then came to the gate and shouted that the police were on the way, and the robbers ran off.

The couple’s eldest child Lucy, 14, was in her bedroom and had also called police.

The getaway driver in the car had already panicked and left without the robbers - so they ran towards Long Lane where they were picked up by a man in a white Ford Transit van.

Mr Welch said: “My mind is an absolute shed. All I could hear were the children screaming. It’s been absolutely horrendous for the whole family, I don’t know what effect it will have on them. Little Ruby is too scared to leave the house or her mum.

“I’ve worked hard all my life to get where we are and this happens. I just hope the public can help the police catch them.”

The Welch family, who run a glazing business based in Hyde Park, moved to the property two years ago from Park Drive, Sprotbrough.

Doncaster detectives are keen for information about the two men and the black car two-door coupe used by the raiders, which has not yet been traced.

A short time after they were picked up by the van, the robbers were dropped outside The Sun Inn on Barnsley Road, Doncaster.

A 22-year-old man from Woodlands has been arrested. He was bailed yesterday pending further inquiries.

Officers investigating the incident are appealing for witnesses, or for anyone with information, to call South Yorkshire Police immediately on 101 quoting Operation Attrist, reference 857, of September 7. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.