Couple face ‘five intruders’ in dead of night - days after being told of a threat to their lives
PUBLISHED: 15:39 31 January 2020
A gay couple who received a “threat to life warning” from police have slammed their response time after five hooded men allegedly tried to scale their balcony.
Andrew and Gustavo William Coleman say they are living in fear after five men turned up at their flat just before 4am on Friday morning (January 31).
The pair pushed their panic devices for 15 minutes but said police did not show up for 28 minutes when the perpetrators "were leaving."
Andrew said: "We were asleep and heard Bessie (their dog) bark. I went to the window and directly below us was a car with its engine running,
"They got out the car and opened the boot. Then three of them ran around the side of the building, they knew exactly where we are.
"There were five of them. They were proper big men, who all put their hoods up as soon as they got out of the car.
"Me and Gustavo had the shock of our lives. Both of us were pushing, pushing our panic buttons. Gustavo was physically sick.
"They wouldn't have hurt us, they'd have killed us. They didn't come to give us a slap, they came to murder us."
Police delivered the couple a 1602 notice on Monday afternoon which states their "personal safety is now in danger" which also says: "Police are aware of intelligence that others might be seeking to cause harm to you."
The letters, also known as Osman warnings, are issued by police if they become aware of a real and immediate threat to somebody's life.
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Officers previously told this paper that "safeguarding measures remain in place" for the two men.
Mr Coleman has lodged a formal complaint over what he says are "massive failures" by the safeguarding teams.
"When those devices are pushed they are meant to turn up within 15 minutes," he said. "They took double the time.
"I went ballistic. They fed us rubbish saying their in-car computer didn't say we are being safeguarded, the computer didn't say we were on a 1602 notice and at imminent risk of harm and alleged the keys to get into our flat didn't work."
He also claims police did not take a statement.
A police spokesperson said they were called at 3.55am on January 31.
"Police attended the address in 28 minutes.
"On arrival the occupier at the property declined to engage with officers.
"A formal complaint has been submitted in connection with the time taken for police to arrive at the address.
"The complaint will be forwarded to the Met's Directorate of Professional Standards for assessment.
"It would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time."
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