Millionaire businessman 'mistakenly blasted by burglars in terrifying home raid'
A millionaire businessman was blasted in the leg with a shotgun in a terrifying raid by burglars who mistakenly thought he was involved in the drugs world, a jury has heard.
Father-of-two Timothy Mardon was in bed when he was woken by the sound of burglars outside his Grade II-listed mansion in Sible Hedingham, Essex, Chelmsford Crown Court was told on Tuesday.
Richard Christie QC, prosecuting, said Mr Mardon dialled 999 and during that "desperate" call the line remained open for more than half an hour as police made their way to the remote location, between Chelmsford and Braintree.
Mr Mardon heard intruders trying doors around the house until they reached his locked bedroom door, the court heard.
He heard the intruders say to each other "this door is locked" and then they became aggressive, Mr Christie said.
Mr Mardon was stood directly behind the door and shouted "get the f*** out of my house", jurors heard.
He warned the intruders he had called police, then operators heard a "massive blast" on the 999 call.
The shot hit Mr Mardon's thigh near the femoral artery and he tied his trousers around his leg to stem the bleeding in a makeshift tourniquet.
Mr Christie said that defendant Charlie Simms, 23, of North Road, Halstead, Essex, fired the shotgun and was the "most brutal" of the three men accused of aggravated burglary.
Simms had stood over Mr Mardon and screamed at him with a shotgun in his hand and stocking mask over his face, the court heard.
"As Mr Mardon lay there with blood spurting out of his leg he (Simms) said 'Tell me where the safe is' then began to count down'," said Mr Christie. "Mr Mardon was terrified he was going to be killed."
A voice is heard on the 999 recording saying "Where is it? Where's the weed at?", and "where's the weed at or I will blow your face off".
"He (Simms) believed he was going to find drugs money in the property," said Mr Christie. "The reality was Mr Mardon had nothing to do with drugs.
"He had a high-powered job in insurance and spent most of his life overseas in Bermuda.
"Sadly for him, he had chosen to return from Tokyo before returning to Bermuda (the following day).
"He was literally there for a few hours."
Mr Mardon, who is in his 40s, is a division president at Ace Tempest Re, a Bermuda-based insurance company.
Neither his wife, Sarah, nor his two children were at home at the time of the incident, about 4.30am on February 6 this year.
Mr Christie said Simms, together with Kalebh Shreeve, 24, of Gibson Road, Halstead, and Christopher Bergin, 27, of Hawkwood Road, Sible Hedingham, had targeted the property in Rectory Road to steal whatever they could find.
"Within minutes of Mr Mardon seeing them they had smashed their way into his house, blasted him in the leg with a shotgun, threatened to kill him, robbed him and left him for dead," said Mr Christie. "In those few minutes, his happy life had turned into a real living nightmare that has continued since that time."
When police arrived Mr Mardon had lost as much as 20% of his blood and would have died without help of emergency services, Mr Christie said.
The trio stole a 3,000 US dollar Tudor Heritage watch and Mr Mardon's wallet which contained £300 as well as foreign currency, including Japanese yen and US dollars, the court heard.
Mr Mardon had begun to tell the men how to find his £70,000 classic car collection so they would let him live, Mr Christie said.
The men eventually left without calling an ambulance, the court heard.
"They left him there effectively to bleed to death," said Mr Christie.
Mr Christie said Shreeve had kept watch as a getaway driver, and knew the layout as he had worked as a gardener at the property from the summer of 2013 to 2014.
All three men deny aggravated burglary, grievous bodily harm with intent, possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Simms also denies a charge of attempted murder.
The trial continues.