Men guilty of shooting businessman

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  • Timothy and Sarah Mardon (File photograph)

    Timothy and Sarah Mardon (File photograph)

Two men have been found guilty of shooting and torturing millionaire businessman Timothy Mardon in a raid on his countryside mansion.

Charlie Simms and Christopher Bergin targeted Mr Mardon, 51, after mistakenly believing he was using his Georgian property in Essex as a large-scale cannabis factory, according to reports in the British press. The Daily Mirror reported that, after the verdict, father of two Mr Mardon — division president at Chubb Tempest Re Bermuda — thanked emergency services for saving his life and his leg.

In a statement with his wife Sarah, Mr Mardon said: “Firstly we would like to extend our thanks to all the officers, paramedics and emergency services who responded on the night of the burglary, and medical staff at Colchester and Addenbrooks hospitals who saved both Tim’s life and his leg.

“We are satisfied that Simms and Bergin have been found guilty. They directly caused harm to our family, and they will serve appropriate prison terms.”

Chelmsford Crown Court had been told how Mr Mardon heard the raiders breaking into The Old Rectory in the leafy village of Sible Hedingham and phoned 999, telling police about his ordeal.

Armed officers were scrambled but were unable to reach the scene for more than 40 minutes and the businessman, who locked himself behind a bedroom door, was blasted in the leg with a shotgun.

His ordeal was captured on an audio recording, including the moment gunman Simms counted down from 10, telling Mr Mardon he would kill him unless he told them where the safe was.

Mr Mardon’s young daughters could be heard on the tape pleading with the crazed gunman who was screaming at him, demanding to know where “the drugs money” was kept.

Mr Mardon was left bleeding on the ground and the pair escaped with a watch worth $3,000 and a few hundred pounds in foreign currency. Simms, 23, and Bergin, 27, denied a string of charges but were found guilty following a seven-week trial. A third man, Kalebh Shreeve, 24, was cleared of being involved in the shocking raid.

During the trial, it emerged Simms and Berin had been at a house party in the village and drank heavily and smoked drugs before deciding on a whim to raid The Old Rectory.

Simms, who wore a stocking mask during the raid, was convicted of attempted murder after the businessman suffered life-changing injuries due to the shotgun wound and now walks with a stick.

Mr Mardon took to the witness stand to recount the events from February 6, telling a jury of seven men and five women how he had pleaded for his life.

He said: “The person started screaming at me and pointing the gun at my head and threatening me. He was very, very aggressive. He was yelling at me in a very threatening fashion.

“The first thing he started yelling was, ‘Where is the weed money?’ I think I said, ‘I don’t deal weed, I work for an insurance company’.

“He was pointing the gun directly at my head and threatening me. He basically said he would kill me if I did not talk.”

The Daily Mirror quoted DCI Leighton Hammett, of Essex Police: “This was an extremely violent crime which left a man fighting for his life.

“Charlie Simms and Christopher Bergin are violent, dangerous men and Essex will be a safer place with them off the streets.

“This was not a premeditated attack but one conjured up on a whim following a night of heavy drinking and smoking drugs.

“It was an attack based on the fictional notion drugs were being grown at the victim’s house.

“It is galling that they were prepared to use this level of extreme violence with such little thought and paid such little regard for the welfare of the victim.

“Mr Mardon was left bleeding to death and if it were not for the quick-thinking of the officers at the scene to use a tourniquet on his injury, doctors say he would have died.”

The jury unanimously found Simms, of Great Yeldham, guilty of attempted murder, aggravated burglary, and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Bergin, of Halstead, was guilty of aggravated burglary, wounding with intent and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. They will be sentenced at a later date.• It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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