Family traumatised after alleged home invasion by children
VICTIMS of a home invasion in Grafton are still shocked the alleged intruders were children.
About 7pm last Monday, two boys aged approximately 12 and 13 years allegedly forced their way into a secured property in Oliver St.
"My wife and I were upstairs when the two boys broke into our home and assaulted my father-in-law, who is 68 years old," David-John Francis said.
"They stood over and threatened him before grabbing and pushing him.
"He hit the cement."
The family members confronted the children and chased them out into the backyard before they disappeared over the back fence.
Mr Francis said his wife fell over during the chase, sustaining broken fingers and a sprained ankle, and his father-in-law suffered minor injuries from the altercation.
"He had some bruises, grazes and a bump on his head," Mr Francis said.
"Dad is OK physically... mentally though, it has taken a huge toll on all of us.
"We feel violated and unsafe in our own home and our existing mental health issues have been worsened."
After being targeted in the past, Mr Francis said the family had taken extra security measures to deter intruders.
"Previously we had a break and enter of a car and the house when we weren't home," he said.
"This time it was a home invasion and all our security measures were in place - lights on, doors and windows shut, gates closed and latched, but they still came in."
It's understood police later caught up with the two suspects.
"No one has been charged at this stage," Coffs-Clarence Police Chief Inspector Jo Reid said.
"However, it's serious in nature in that they broke in and assaulted a person so we're making further inquiries into this matter."
Mr Francis said while pleased the incident was being investigated, the ordeal and its aftermath had taken a toll on the family.
"I am disgusted, angry and even sad," he said. "We are out of pocket because we have to invest in more security measures and I lost work (while) dealing with police and arranging counselling for my father-in-law and my wife.
"I guess the message is for people to be extra vigilant, even though that didn't even work for us, and for the people to take responsibility for their kids, to make sure they know where they are, who they are with and what they are supposed to be doing."