Manchester builder, 41, chases off knife-wielding home invaders to save wife and seven-year-old daughter
- Police say he deserves 'special praise for the courage he showed'
- 'People should have the right to defend their property,' says Zahir Nabi
- Police appeal for any information about the masked gang
By Niamh O'doherty
PUBLISHED: 04:22 EST, 30 November 2012 | UPDATED: 04:22 EST, 30 November 2012
'I just wanted to teach those guys a lesson for daring to come into my house uninvited like that,' said Mr Nabi, right, with his wife Shamim and their seven-year-old daughter
A householder was hailed a hero by police today for single-handedly fighting off FOUR armed robbers as they terrorised his wife and child at knifepoint.
Zahir Nabi, 41, had just arrived home from work when his wife Shamim, 33, answered a knock at the door only for the gang of raiders to burst in.
The builder dashed out of his bathroom to find one of the thugs holding a knife to Shamim’s neck and demanding cash as the couple's seven-year-daughter Sumaiya looked on in terror.
Mr Nabi launched himself at the attackers, punching and kicking until they fled empty-handed.
As police hunted the gang today, Mr Nabi, from Salford, Greater Manchester said: 'I just wanted to teach those guys a lesson for daring to come into my house uninvited like that.
'People should have the right to defend their property if anyone breaks in, and it's only right that a homeowner should do what they can to safeguard their family.
'I have to say my wife was fine afterwards — I think she even got a kick in herself — but my poor daughter was terrified. I told her that they were nasty boys and they wouldn’t be back, and she said to me: "I only stopped being scared when you came downstairs".'
The incident occurred at about 6.15pm on November 27. Mr Nabi was in the bathroom when he heard the front door open 'fast and loud, like it hit against the radiator'.
'Next think I know, my wife is screaming.'
Four masked men, two of them carrying knives, had forced their way into the house.
One of them grabbed Shamim round her face with his free hand while two of the raiders stormed the lounge as the couple's terrified seven-year-old daughter looked on.
Hearing his wife's screams, Mr Nabi looked downstairs to see a masked man holding her with a knife at her chest, pointing to her neck.
'I literally launched myself from upstairs onto the bannister and all the way down to the bottom and hit straight into the man,' he said.
Zahir Nabi dashed out of his bathroom to find one of the thugs pushing a knife to wife Shamim's neck and demanding cash as their seven-year-old daughter looked on in terror
'I got him out of the way by punching him, elbowing him and kicking him. There was another one in the doorway, and so I punched him too.
'Then I realised that there were two more in the lounge, where my daughter was. She was screaming in fear, because she would have seen all the commotion. I came into the lounge and they came at me with a knife.
'They were right next to my daughter [with the knife] — I didn’t know what they were going to do with it. For all I know they were going to use it on her.
'Before anything happened, I kicked and punched them both before kicking them all out of the house one by one. I think I must have been fuelled by adrenaline because I am not normally like that.
'One of them fell on the pathway outside and the others jumped over the wall so I ran after them to make sure that they didn’t come back.
'Then I realised that one of them was still outside the house so I ran back to make sure he ran off too. I could still hear my daughter screaming.
Mr Nabi briefly gave chase and kicked one of the men to the floor, but all four managed to escape. Police have appeal for any information about the masked gang
All four raiders managed to escape.
'Once I knew my family were safe, I called the police,' Mr Nabi said. 'If I wasn’t in the house at the time, God only knows what could have happened.'
Greater Manchester Police said the men were about 5ft 9in tall, of skinny build, and were wearing dark clothing and balaclavas.
PC Mark Rigby said Mr Nabi 'showed both incredible bravery and strength to fight off four men who had invaded the sanctity of his home'.
'Instinct took over when he saw his wife being held at knifepoint in front of his young daughter, who was understandably very scared, and he courageously tackled these men.
'However, in applauding this man for his heroic actions, it is also fortunate he himself was not injured in fighting off the masked intruders because they had armed themselves with knives and were prepared to use the threat of violence to frighten this family.
'I would therefore appeal to anyone who has information about this incident, or perhaps suspects they know the identity of the offenders, to call us immediately and stop these people from striking again.
'Greater Manchester Police would always advise people confronted by such violence not to put themselves in harm’s way — as possessions can be replaced; people cannot.
'However, I believe this man deserves special praise for the courage he showed in protecting his wife and young daughter.'