Attack victim says it was like being in a gangster movie

  • 17 August 2014
  • From the section London
Media captionBBC London's Tarah Welsh reports

A father of four who was attacked at his home in south-west London has said it felt like he was in a gangster film.

Paul Kohler, 55, opened the door of his Kings Road home in Wimbledon to a group of masked men on Monday night.

The gang then brutally beat the academic, leaving him with a badly damaged eye socket and bruises.

Speaking to BBC London, he said: "It is phenomenally terrifying... you almost stand outside of it and look on as if it's some gangster movie."

During the attack, Mr Kohler was thinking about protecting his family. At the time, his 24-year-old daughter, her boyfriend and his wife were in the home.

"It's obviously terrifying but in a way it helped as you don't think of yourself, you think about defending the home, defending your pride; so it was very much defending the family."

'Overwhelmingly positive'

Mr Kohler says he cannot move his eye to the left as his eye socket has been fractured and the muscle damaged. He is due to have reconstructive surgery this week.

The academic, who is the head of the law school at the School of Oriental and African Studies, says he thinks he will make a full recovery and will be back to teach at the start of the new term.

"It could have been worse, I could have lost my sight," he said.

"I don't want to sit here harping on about how unlucky I've been, it could have been a lot worse."

Since the incident, Mr Kohler said he had received a lot of good will.

"It's been overwhelmingly positive in that so many friends have come forward as have ex-students that I haven't seen for years.

"This was an awful thing… but what it showed me was the humanity of the people around us."

Two men have been charged with causing grievous bodily harm and aggravated burglary. They were remanded in custody until another court appearance later this month.

Police say they are looking for two more suspects.

More on this story