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Father from Tunbridge Wells attacked in his own home after asking his neighbours to keep the noise down

A request to keep the noise down by a father-of-two led to him being attacked by three people.

Mark Andrews was set upon on the doorstep of his flat in Tunbridge Wells in front of his children.

Seco Camara, Elizabete Correia and Ruben Lopes
Seco Camara, Elizabete Correia and Ruben Lopes

The 35-year-old had gone upstairs and spoken to a teenager, who was at home with a toddler, about the noise coming from the apartment.

The teen called his auntie, Elizabete Correia, who arrived at the property with Ruben Lopes and Seco Camara. The men knocked on Mr Andrews' door aggressively.

When he answered, they continued to act angrily and he armed himself with a decorating pole before shouting to his partner to call the police.

The pair entered his home and started beating him before pulling him into a communal hall. They grabbed the pole from him and wrestled him to the floor.

One then used the pole to restrain him from around his neck, while the other beat him around the torso area.

The attack, which lasted for about 40 seconds, was caught on Mark’s phone. After the pair had finished, the third member of the family, Elizabete Correia, appeared on the landing and slapped him around the face five or six times.

In the footage, his partner can be heard telling the attackers she was calling the police while his children can be heard screaming in the background in terror.

Lopes, 27, Camara, 47, and his partner, Correia, also 47, were all charged with assault by beating after the incident which happened in Cranwell Road, Rusthall, on January 14, last year.

The trio, who all live in Hythe Close, Southborough, all denied the allegation when they appeared in court in July.

They were found guilty of the offence in December and returned to Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court on February 19 for sentencing.

District Judge Stephen Leake heard all three had never been in trouble with the law before.

Sidumiso Moyo, prosecuting, said: “There had been a few issues between the families prior to this day.

“It was about 2pm and the victim was at home with his partner and their children. There was a knock on the door and Mr Lopes and Mr Camara were there.

“He warned his partner to get his phone and use the video function. He tried to close the door, but Mr Camara crossed the threshold and Mr Andrews was assaulted.”

The court also heard it was at this point Mr Andrews picked up a decorating pole to protect himself, but Camara, who works in construction and Lopes, an insurance agent, managed to get it off him and pull him out of his home.

Seco Camara, pictured, attacked the man in his home along with Ruben Lopes
Seco Camara, pictured, attacked the man in his home along with Ruben Lopes

Ms Moyo added: “The front door closed behind him and his children and partner were still inside.

“He fell to the floor in the hallway and one held him with the pole from behind while Lopes beat him.

“As he was being held on the floor with the pole against his throat another person came out of their flat and told them to stop. Lopes relented.

“The victim suffered bruising and redness to his torso.”

“Then the female strikes him with her right hand five or six times across his face. It was a threatening incident. They left and the police were called.”

Judge Leake heard the incident had a profound impact on the man’s partner and his two children. His partner was signed off work with stress-related anxiety for two weeks after the attack.

He also heard Mr Andrews was a long-distance lorry driver who usually spent a lot of time away from his home.

This in turn had led to great anxiety and stress for him as he worried about possible reprisal attacks and the safety of his family while they were home alone.

Seco Camara and Ruben Lopes entered the man's flat before he was pulled outside and attacked
Seco Camara and Ruben Lopes entered the man's flat before he was pulled outside and attacked

The judge was also told the incident had affected the family so much, they now wanted to move to a different area.

Matt Nickolls, defending the trio, said they didn’t know the man before the incident.

He added: “He went up to have a word and knocked loudly and aggressively and put his foot in the door, he was shouting about the noise issue and the three-year-old (inside) started to cry."

The court heard a teenager had answered and then called his aunt, Correia, to tell her about the incident straight after. She had offered to go and collect him and the toddler until their mother returned home.

It was after they arrived at the block of flats, that Lopes and Camara, went downstairs and attacked Mr Andrews.

Mr Nickolls added: “They didn’t have an axe to grind, they wanted to talk to him about their nephew.

“They were met with hostility. He armed himself with the metal pole and they grabbed it off him and used it to restrain him. There are inconsistencies, they say he was holding the pole when he opened the door.

“They are not violent characters and they denied the allegations. They are calm and placid, it has been a very unfortunate incident for all concerned.”

The attack happened at Mark Andrew's flat in Cranwell Road, Rusthall. Picture: Google Maps
The attack happened at Mark Andrew's flat in Cranwell Road, Rusthall. Picture: Google Maps

Judge Leake said it was important none of them had any previous convictions. But he stated they had all acted together and had assaulted the man and had crossed the threshold to enter his home where his partner and children were able to observe or hear what had happened and became distressed.

He said: “One of you grabbed him from behind while the other beat him. He suffered bruising and had a red torso and it ended when you (Correia) slapped him in the face, which was different to Lopes and Camara.”

Lopes and Camara were jailed for 18 weeks for the offence which was suspended for 18 months and both were ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and attend 10 rehabilitation sessions with probation.

Correia was placed on a 12-month community order which will also see her complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

All three were ordered to pay their victim £250 compensation each which they must pay within 28 days.

Their court costs of £210 each and victim surcharges of £154 each, will be paid at a rate of £100 a month thereafter.

The trio were also ordered to stay away from Mr Andrews and his family and the road he lives in for two years.

Elizabete Correia and Ruben Lopes leaving Sevenoaks Magistrates' Court
Elizabete Correia and Ruben Lopes leaving Sevenoaks Magistrates' Court

Speaking after the case, Mr Andrews said: “After the attack, I still had to go to work which left me spending all of my time out of the house worrying for the safety of my family, not knowing what may happen next and being miles away and unable to protect them should there be any reoccurrence.

“This has been a continuous worry, especially with the thought there may be repercussions as a result of any conviction.

“The incident also caused significant worry for my children who directly witnessed the incident.

“We still want to move away and after the attack, we were put on the Exceptional Social Needs register by our housing association, Town and Country Housing, and received a letter of confirmation on January 26, last year about it.

“The housing association declared that my family and myself are a high priority to be rehoused as a result of the incident, yet we have witnessed various suitable properties put up on Kent Homechoice by themselves for others to bid on, and have still not been rehoused.”

However, when we contacted Town & Country Housing, a spokeman revealed a new property had been found for the family.

He added: “Housing is in short supply across the south-east and so it can take some time to find the right property in the right area.

“I’m pleased to say that a house has recently become available that should meet the family’s needs. We have written to them with details of the property and look forward to welcoming them to their new home.”

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