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I'M A CELEBRITY... GET THESE ARMED COPS OUT OF HERE; Joe terror as he wakes to gun police smashing in door.

Byline: Russell Myers; Sharon Feinstein

ARMED police raided the home of terrified telly star Joe Swash after a tip-off about a guns stash.

The I'm A Celebrity winner and former EastEnders favourite was sleeping on a sofa when cops smashed through his front door at dawn.

The officers from the Met's elite CO19 specialist firearms unit are believed to have broken wall panels and pulled down a wardrobe in their search for weapons.

But they left the pounds 300,000 flat near London's Kings Cross empty handed.

Swash, 27, was left "deeply shaken" by the incident.

He told a source: "It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.

Rough

"I've still not got over it and I'm having to have the place redecorated.

"I was in a deep sleep and thought the world had come to an end.

"The police are pretty rough around here when they think they've got a real problem."

The source told The People: "Police thought they were acting on credible information.

"Until you go into these situations it is difficult to categorically say what you are going to find."

Swash, who pipped tennis ace Martina Navratilova to win last year's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here, pledged his pounds 30,000 winnings from the show to anti-street crime campaign following the murder of 16-year-old Ben Kinsella.

Innocent Ben - stabbed to death after leaving a club in Islington, north London, last summer - was the brother of ex-EastEnders actress Brooke Kinsella, 25.

Swash played lovable Micky Miller in the hit BBC1 soap from 2003 until July 2008.

He has been dating blonde former costar Kara Tointon, 25, who plays Walford single mum Dawn Swann, for the past year. They got together after Swash split from his then fiance Emma Sophocles, mother of his son Harry, now two.

The actor has just returned to the UK from filming BBC1's Celebrity Total Wipeout in Argentina.

A spokesman for the star said last night: "There was a raid by police at his home in London and he is now getting on with his filming commitments."

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: "We can confirm that at 6.30am on February 18, 2009, firearms officers executed a warrant under the Firearms Act at an address in north London.

"No firearm was recovered from the property and no arrests were made."

The highly-trained officers in CO19 carry Glock 17 self-loading pistols and may have Heckler and Koch MP5 machine guns.

They will usually be used in pre-planned intelligence-led operations which can involve storming buildings, planes, buses, trains and boats.

On specialist ops they will wear full kit including bullet-proof vests, protective helmets, fire-resistant overalls, and other body armour.

peoplenews@mgn.co.uk

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SCENE: Flat was raided by armed cops like officer, right STUNNED: All smiles now but Swash said cop raid left him deeply shaken
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Publication:The People (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 7, 2009
Words:481
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