Founder of Fenland Fisheries Mike Hawes tied up and beaten during savage burglary

THE founder of Fenland Fisheries is recovering after he was left for dead by a gang of savage burglars.

Mike Hawes, originally from Manea, was tied up, beaten and dragged around his home as the thieves searched for money.

The 53-year-old was dozing on the couch in his house in Earith, at 10.15pm last Wednesday when he was woken by the sound of his patio doors being smashed.

He was confronted by two men in balaclavas who were armed with baseball bats.

His partner Julie Hollyer, 53, said Mr Hawes wrestled a bat from one of the attackers, but was knocked unconscious by the other. The thieves then bound his hands and feet with cable ties.

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When he regained consciousness, he was confronted by five burglars – all in balaclavas – demanding money.

They dragged him around the house in their search for cash, but left the bungalow empty-handed, Ms Hollyer said.

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The ordeal ended when Mr Hawes freed his arms from the cable ties and called the police. He also made enough noise to attract a man who had been fishing on the lakes at Fenland Fisheries.

Mr Hawes, who owns the lakes, was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge with multiple facial injuries. His attackers had also broken his ribs, puncturing a lung, which started to fill with blood.

Ms Hollyer, a former nurse, said: “It was a vicious attack. I don’t know how a human can do that to another human.

“It was just a complete frenzy. They wanted him to suffer. I was out at the time and he called me to tell me he was hurting really bad.

“There was blood everywhere, in the living room, the bedroom, everywhere, because they dragged him round looking for money.

“I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep again after this. I don’t know how anyone who would have lived through this could.”

The gang managed to steal a small sum of money and Mr Hawes’s grey Toyota Hilux, which was found abandoned 400 metres down the road.

Ms Hollyer said: “Mike believes the thieves were in their 20s and had local accents.”

Mr Hawes established Fenland Fisheries in 1984 when he bought 16 acres of disused gravel pits at Earith. He grew up in Manea, playing football and cricket for the village.

He is expected to leave hospital in the next few days.

Det Sgt Leigh Allman said: “This was a nasty incident, which we are treating very seriously. We are treating it as an isolated incident but have increased patrols in the area as a precaution.”

INFORMATION: Anyone with information should call Cambridgeshire police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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