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'Robber raped my bride in front of me' FORMER CITY MAN TELLS OF FIGHT TO COME TO TERMS WITH HORROR ORDEAL.

Byline: BEN GRIFFIN

A NEWLYWED from Coventry who was forced to watch his wife being raped at gunpoint, has spoken of the terrifying ordeal.

Gareth Lucas, 25, formerly of Sewall Highway, Wyken, wept as he witnessed his wife Tania's ordeal at the hands of one of four robbers who broke into their holiday home in Johannesburg earlier this month.

The couple were married on September 13, in South Africa.

Mr Lucas, a former pupil of St John Fisher RC Primary School, Wyken, and Cardinal Wiseman RC School, Potters Green, said: "It was the early hours. The next thing, I woke up with a gun to my head. They tied my hands and feet up with a wire coat hanger. They stole cash, all my wife's jewellery, and one of them came back to the room and raped her.

"We are still scared, and we are going to counselling. We are trying to cope with each day as it comes. We sleep with the light on and we barricade our bedroom."

Mr Lucas said he and his wife, a secretary from South Africa who has waived her right to anonymity over the rape, are now awaiting the results of her HIV test, which will be available in about 10 weeks.

"She's been extremely strong," he said. "When it happened, she was a lot stronger than me. I didn't know what to do with myself. I wanted to kill somebody."

He said crime was rife in the country and it was the sixth time since he was 16 that he had had a gun held to his head.

During the attack, at 2am on October 14, the robbers beat both Gareth and Tania before escaping in their pick-up truck, which was later found dumped.

Gareth, who went to South Africa in 1990 when his dad Philip, 52, and mum Sandra, moved there to work, is now considering returning to Britain if he can find a job.

He currently works in the family business, moving machinery, started by his dad, who used to play rugby for the Broad Street Old Boys team in Coventry.

Grandad tells of family's shock

THE Coventry grandparents of Gareth Lucas said they were "knocked about" by the news of the couple's gunpoint ordeal.

Gareth Lucas, 25, today told how he was forced to watch as his wife was raped after a gang tied him up after breaking into their home in Johannesburg, South Africa.

His grandfather Raymond, aged 78, lives in Edgwick Road Edgwick, Coventry, with his wife Jean, 77.

The retired fitter said the family, including his daughters Lyndsey Taylor, 56, of Courthouse Green, and Jean Moorcroft, 48, of Stoke Hill, were coming to terms with the news.

The father-of-three, whose son Philip, 52, is Gareth's dad, said of Gareth and Tania: "They are very upset.

"It has knocked us about. It's a terrible thing. It's traumatic. He's a lovely lad. We are in a bit of a state at the moment."

CAPTION(S):

PERFECT MOMENT: Gareth and Tania on their wedding day, when there was no hint of the terror that would shake their world; UPSET: Raymond Lucas. Picture: MARK RADFORD
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 29, 2003
Words:525
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