In the Media

Householder 'heroically' confronted armed raiders attacking his wife

PUBLISHED November 29, 2012

Zahir Nabi, 41, "heroically" confronted the masked raiders who had forced their way into his home in Salford, Greater Manchester, earlier this week.

He furiously attacked gang members, two of whom were armed with a knife, after they had grabbed his wife in front of their terrified seven year-old daughter.

He "courageously" grappled with the criminals, who fled empty-handed, before giving chase, police said. Despite catching one of the suspects, and kicking him to the ground, they all escaped.

Greater Manchester Police praised Mr Nabi's "incredible bravery" but warned against confronting violent criminals because "possessions can be replaced, people cannot".

Last night, the suspects remained at large and were described as about 5ft 9in tall, of skinny builds and wearing dark clothing and balaclavas.

The incident unfolded at 6.15pm on Tuesday after his wife, who has not been named, answered a knock at the front door.

She was confronted by the four masked intruders who stormed in before one grabbed her by the face and held her at knifepoint.

Mr Nabi, who celebrated his birthday a fortnight ago, heard the commotion from upstairs and came down to investigate, where he was confronted by two of the "would-be thieves" in the family's front room.

A fight then occurred, in front of their "frightened" daughter, before Mr Nabi chased the fleeing intruders.

"This man showed both incredible bravery and strength to fight off four men who had invaded the sanctity of his home," said Pc Mark Rigby, from Salford CID.

"Instinct took over when he saw his wife being held at knifepoint in front of his young daughter, who was understandably very scared, and he courageously tackled these men who fled empty-handed.

"However, in applauding this man for his heroic actions, it is also fortunate he himself was not injured in fighting off the masked intruders because they had armed themselves with knives and were prepared to use the threat of violence to frighten this family."

He added: "Greater Manchester Police would always advise people confronted by such violence not to put themselves in harm's way as possessions can be replaced, people cannot.

"However, I believe this man deserves special praise for the courage he showed in protecting his wife and young daughter."

He urged anyone with information, or who may know the suspects, to come forward to "stop these people from striking again". No arrests have been made.

At the weekend it emerged that changes to the law to ensure householders who attack burglars will not be prosecuted unless they use "grossly disproportionate" force are to be introduced.

The Ministry of Justice will move to amend the existing law which says only "proportionate" and "reasonable" force can be used by home owners and tenants who confront criminals.

Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, declared the changes will give "householders the protection that they need - the confidence that the law will be on their side".

Mr Nabi declined to speak publicly about the incident last night.