The terrified owner of a chain of fish and chip shops faked a heart attack in a bid to foil an early morning armed raid at his home, a court heard.
Onal Tevfik - also known as Ernie - and his wife Linda were confronted by three men equipped with an imitation gun, an iron bar and a knife during the break-in at their secluded, detached property in Dargate, Faversham.
As Mr Tevfik fended off blows from the weapons, even managing to punch one of his assailants, his wife was dragged into a cloakroom by another.
Onal Tevfik - known locally as Ernie - inside Ernie's Plaice. Picture: Tony Flashman
All three were demanding money throughout the couple's 15 minute ordeal.
Maidstone Crown Court heard it only came to an end when Mr Tevfik, fearing his wife might be raped and having been pistol-whipped himself, was forced into the drastic action.
"An idea occurred to me that I could bring the incident to an end by faking a heart attack. I thought it might panic them. I clutched my chest and started to pant. The two men started panicking" - Onal Tevfik
The jury of six men and six women heard that his panting and clutching of his chest had the desired effect and the men began to panic.
Even his wife believed he was genuinely ill when she saw him propped against a wall.
But Mrs Tevfik's fear turned to relief when her husband gave her a thumbs-up sign and winked.
The three raiders eventually fled with £2,000 cash from the four-bedroom house, but only after leaving a further £1,000 behind in their haste to escape - and having to rely on Mrs Tevfik to open the front door for them.
The court also heard that within days of the raid, Mrs Tevfik had identified those she believed to be responsible from Facebook photos.
However, prosecutor Bridget Todd said the police investigation was unable to rely on such evidence, preferring a more scientific method instead - a fingerprint of Ahmed Momoh's left ring finger which was found on the cloakroom door.
Momoh, 24, of Camden House, Grove Street, Deptford, denies aggravated burglary and possessing an imitation firearm.
He is the only one in the dock as the identity of the other two men was said to be unknown.
The couple own Ernie's Plaice in Whitstable. Picture: Gerry Warren
But Miss Todd said all three of the raiders were liable for each other's actions.
"It does not matter who holds the weapon because it is a joint enterprise and they were all in it together.
"If one is armed with a metal bar it is not beyond reason that others would go armed with weapons as well, and it was all part of a plan to steal money from Mr and Mrs Tevfik."
"He had both his hands up against his chest and I believed he was having a heart attack. I screamed out 'He's having a heart attack' and I saw male two standing over him with the knife in his hand"- Linda Tevfik
The couple, who own Dean's Plaice in Herne Bay and Ian's Plaice in Whitstable, were in bed when the raiders struck just after 2am on May 22.
Alerted by noises coming from downstairs, Mrs Tevfik woke her husband, who went to investigate.
The house was in darkness as he went downstairs and was confronted by two of the men.
As he was attacked with the iron bar and fended off thrusts from a knife, his wife appeared screaming, only to be dragged into the cloakroom by a third raider, allegedly Momoh.
Mr Tevfik told police: "I started to really panic, thinking 'What on Earth are they going to do to Linda?'
"I was still being attacked and they were shouting 'Where's the money?'
"I was powerless to stop the man taking Linda. He had forced her into the downstairs toilet and gone in with her. I was terrified he might rape her."
Mr Tevfik said he could hear the man asking his wife the same questions as to the whereabouts of any money.
When she told them to take her jewellery instead, Mr Tevfik was forced upstairs, still being punched and kicked.
One of the men then pulled out what appeared to be a pistol. "He raised the gun over his head and then struck me on the side of my head," said Mr Tevfik.
"From the contact I was able to tell the gun was metal and felt substantial, not like a toy. I dropped to the floor so I was lying on my side."
As a raider then began to search drawers in the bedrooms Mr Tevfik decided to fake a heart attack.
"An idea occurred to me that I could bring the incident to an end by faking a heart attack. I thought it might panic them.
"I clutched my chest and started to pant. The two men (upstairs) started panicking."
Mr Tevfik then told the men of the money he had left in the kitchen for one of his sons to collect. It was on an island unit covered by a tea towel.
Onal Tevfik clutched his chest and pretended he was having a heart attack in order to panic the raiders. Picture: Tony Flashman
Having grabbed some of the cash, the trio went to flee out of the front door. "The latch on the front door is funny," added Mr Tevfik. "I called down to Linda to open the door for them and when she did they just ran."
Mrs Tevfik then called the police. It was later discovered that the knife brandished during the burglary belonged to the Tevfiks.
She told police that she became very distressed when she heard her husband being dragged upstairs.
She recalled hearing a "deep wheeze" from her husband and that when the raider in the cloakroom left to have a look at what was happening, she followed.
"I remember looking up the stairs and saw him sat on the floor, leaning against the wall," she said.
"He had both his hands up against his chest and I believed he was having a heart attack. I screamed out 'He's having a heart attack' and I saw male two standing over him with the knife in his hand."
She added that when her husband mentioned the money in the kitchen the men fled past her.
"At this point my husband gave me a wink and a thumbs up to indicate he was okay and had been putting on the heart attack."
The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court
Mrs Tevfik said the raiders were panicking as they tried to open the door. She told one of them to "calm down" and then undid the "awkward" latch.
They fled and she called the police. "I was in tears. I gave the phone to my husband and he told me to put the kettle on."
Momoh told the court while giving evidence that he was not one of the three raiders.
Asked during cross-examination to explain how his fingerprint was found in the house, he replied: "I have racked my brains trying but I don't know why it was there."
Accused by the prosecutor about leaving it on the door as he "ushered" Mrs Tevfik into the toilet, Momoh maintained: "I wasn't there on that day."
However, despite stating he was "quite certain" he did not know the area and, "as far as he knew", had never been to their home, Momoh then admitted when accused of touching the door: "I must have, possibly, at some stage."
The jury is expected to start deliberating its verdict tomorrow.