Man had “no choice” but to jump out of window to escape violent thieves, lawsuit says

A man victim of a violent burglary at his home in Paignton says he had no choice but to escape by jumping out the window.

Christopher Duncanson told an Exeter Crown Crown jury that Adham Aboukashaba was one of five men who broke into his New Street home and demanded money and drugs.

He says he was so scared of a threat to stab him that he jumped from the first floor onto the road, breaking his elbow to the ground.

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Mr Duncanson described being beaten by the men before seeing a chance to escape.

“One of them opened the bedroom door and I had a split second,” he said.

“That’s the only reason I got out of this apartment. I rolled and jumped.

“There was no other option. I think they were going to stab me. They beat me more than once. I hadn’t done anything to deserve it. They went too far.”

The trial heard that the incident occurred shortly after 8 p.m. on June 28, 2018.

Mr Duncanson says a group of men, some he knew and others he did not know, forced their way into his home after opening the door slightly.

When he told them he had no money or cannabis, he was “punched” in the face and his tooth was stolen.

Thieves searched the victim’s closets, finding £ 700 in cash and taking turns beating Mr Duncanson, according to the Crown.

Mr Duncanson told the jury: “They beat me shit. They kept beating me shit. They supported me and fucked me up.

“I said to the faces of the five ‘come on boys, leave him’, but they weren’t going anywhere.”

He said one of the men started talking about a knife and said he was going to stab it, putting his hand in his pocket as if he had a knife.

He said he begged the men to “relax” while backing up to the window.

He added, “I’m not going to jump out the window for no reason. If they had just slapped me, I would have left it.”

Aboukashaba, of Climsland Road, pleaded not guilty to two counts of theft and two attempted diversion of the course of justice.

It is alleged that a week after the theft he returned to the victim’s apartment and stole other property. Mr Duncanson said he fled down the stairs after Aboukashaba picked up a hammer and threatened him.

Lee Kenny, 43, of Palace Avenue, Paignton, is also charged with participating in the second robbery on July 5, 2018. Both men deny the charges.

In cross-examination, Mr. Duncanson denied making any money selling drugs.

Mr. Dan Pawson-Pounds, defending Aboukashaba, suggested that Mr. Duncanson invited the accused to visit his apartment on June 28. He said Aboukashaba hit the victim only once and then took £ 100 owed to him from a drug deal.

It is alleged that on two occasions after the police intervened, Aboukashaba pressured Mr. Duncanson to drop the charges. A previous trial date had to be canceled because Mr Duncanson failed to appear in court due to alleged threats.

The two defendants are expected to testify Thursday morning.

The jury heard that two other men, Alex Paddon, 29, of Torquay, and Benjamin White, 27, of Torquay, pleaded guilty for their part in the first robbery.

The trial continues.

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