Don’t lock up my heror hubby Ca­reer crook l tar­geted fam­ily Brave dad in his box­ers chased him off The wrong man l was charged

He only wanted to pro­tect me and the kids

Chat - - True-Life! - By Ni­cola Sin­clair, 41, from Don­caster

As I got into bed, I heard a sud­den rat­tling at the front door – and went cold with fear.

It was De­cem­ber 2016, and my hus­band Carl, 47, and our three kids – Natalie, 23, Ryan, 20, and Chelsea, 16 – were all asleep.

As I looked out of the win­dow, my heart pounded.

‘Carl!’ I yelled, my voice shak­ing. ‘Hughie Hendry is try­ing to break in!’

Hendry was a known lo­cal crim­i­nal and drug ad­dict.

Next, he started try­ing to break into my new car.

‘What?!’ Carl gasped, sit­ting bolt up­right.

Jump­ing out of bed, Carl picked up the lump ham­mer he’d used to wedge our bed­room door shut since we’d been bur­gled four years ear­lier.

The break-in had left Carl on ten­ter­hooks.

Now he sprinted down­stairs in his boxer shorts and out of the front door.

I watched from the win­dow, ter­ri­fied, as Hendry squared up to Carl. Sud­denly, Carl was chas­ing him… My heart pounded. Hendry was a ca­reer crim­i­nal, I’d no idea what he was ca­pa­ble of.

I ran down­stairs and into the drive­way. Carl was walk­ing to­wards me, while Hendry walked away. ‘Call the po­lice,’ Carl said. Stunned, I did. ‘What hap­pened?’ I asked. ‘He threat­ened to stab me,’ Carl said. ‘I was con­vinced he’d pull a knife.’

I lis­tened in hor­ror as Carl said how he’d thrown down the ham­mer and wres­tled Hendry to the floor to stop him put­ting his hands in his pock­ets and reach­ing for a weapon. Carl was shaken. He said he’d punched Hendry to stop him com­ing back. ‘All I could think about was you and the kids,’ Carl said. Min­utes later, the po­lice ar­rived. We told them what’d hap­pened, and they went to see Hendry. Then an of­fi­cer came back to us. ‘Mr Hendry has ac­cused you of hit­ting him with the ham­mer,’ the po­lice­man said. ‘You’re un­der ar­rest.’ read his rights, we were stunned. ‘I didn’t!’ he gasped. ‘I was just de­fend­ing my fam­ily.’ Carl was put in the back of the po­lice car. ‘This is ridicu­lous,’ I wept. Carl had stopped a known thug. Why was he the one be­ing treated as the crim­i­nal? ‘Don’t worry,’ Carl called to me. ‘They’ll re­alise I did noth­ing wrong.’ As my hubby was driven away, I felt sick. Ryan, Natalie, Chelsea and I prayed that the po­lice would see sense. Six­teen hours later, Carl got home – he looked dread­ful. ‘I’ve been charged with ac­tual bod­ily harm,’ he said. Flab­ber­gasted, I fell into Carl’s arms, sob­bing. He faced a crim­i­nal trial, jail. Just for de­fend­ing his fam­ily!

Hor­ri­fy­ing.

Nei­ther of us could sleep. Mean­while, Hughie Hendry, 44, ap­peared at Don­caster Mag­is­trates Court.

There, he pleaded guilty to in­ter­fer­ence with a mo­tor ve­hi­cle.

I was stunned when he was jailed for just eight weeks.

And I was fu­ri­ous – that man would soon be free, while my

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