Couple's terror as sword attack sparks 21-hour police stand-off
A Washington couple have spoken of their late-night terror as a woman attacked their home with a weapon.
Keith Hughes, 50, and Michelle Madson, 49, say they were trapped in their home in Bamburgh Close, Oxclose, Washington, after the woman tried to force her way in.
Armed police were called to the scene and a stand-off then began with a woman in a nearby property, which ended 21 hours later with her arrest.
Welder Keith had returned home from work in the early hours of Tuesday, when the couple’s ordeal began.
“I don’t finish work until 12, so it would be half past when I got in,” he said.
Around 1.30am, Keith became aware that a woman was out in her front garden, ‘shouting and swearing.’
“My partner went to bed. About half past two, I heard someone try the front door,” said Keith.
“I went to the front door and had a look through the peep hole. I couldn’t see anything so I went to open the door.
“I pulled it about eight inches to put my head round and what looked like a broadsword came through the gap and nearly wiped me out.”
Keith tried to force the door shut, but was unable to do so because the sword was stuck in the gap.
“I got the door shut when she pulled the sword out. She was just continually stabbing the door,” he said.
The couple managed to lock the door, but the attack was not over: “We have a window at the side of the door - the sword was put straight through the window,” said Keith.
“It is a double glazed unit and it just shattered that.
“During this time, my partner was on the phone to the police and in all fairness it was only about eight minutes before the police came.
“Police went to went to the back of the house. The next thing, the armed response team arrived.”
Keith believes the woman may have targeted the couple’s home because it was the only one with a light on house because the light was on.
Now he and Michelle are coming to terms with an incident that has shattered their sense of security in their own home.
“It was terrifying,” he said.
“I can’t explain how I felt. My partner was in a right state through it all - the two of us were.
“We did not know what was going on. We feared for our lives.
“You don’t expect that in your own house, somewhere you are supposed to feel safe.”
A cordon was put in place while emergency services tried to bring the situation to a peaceful conclusion and the 21-hour stand-off came to an end shortly before midnight.
Northumbria Police said a woman was arrested and taken to hospital.