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British Army captain fights off hotel burglar

The Reefs Hotel (File photograph)

A would-be burglar bit off more than he could chew when he broke into a hotel room occupied by a British Army officer and his wife.

Captain Richard Hind of the Royal Anglian Regiment tackled raider Paul Williams and subdued him with the help of another guest at luxury hotel The Reefs in Southampton.

Williams, 41, pleaded guilty in Magistrates’ Court yesterday to burglary.

The court heard Captain Hind, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, arrived in Bermuda for a holiday with his wife on December 15.

He was woken by a loud bang in the early hours of Christmas Eve, got up to investigate and found Williams crouched on the floor.

He seized Williams in a headlock when he tried to get up and told his wife to call police and the hotel reception.

Shaunte Simons, the Crown prosecutor, said that Mr Hind admitted Williams was “extremely strong” and had “exhibited the strength of someone who had some chemical in his system or on drugs”.

She added the soldier feared for his and his wife’s lives because he had difficulty restraining Williams, despite his military training.

The struggle moved to the room’s terrace, where another guest saw the two and stepped in to help Captain Hind.

Ms Hind also attempted to pull Williams off her husband and suffered bruising to her arm and leg, as well as a swollen toe on her right foot.

Police arrived at the scene and arrested Williams.

He later admitted to officers that he broke in through the bathroom window to look for money to buy cocaine.

Williams, of no fixed abode, told the court that he had drug and psychological problems.

Senior magistrate Juan Wolffe remanded him in custody until January 5.

He also ordered a mental health assessment and a drug assessment on Williams.

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