UK & World News
Wimbledon Burglary: Hunt For Bow-Legged Pole
Police are hunting a bow-legged Polish man suspected of being involved in a violent raid on a house in suburban London that left an academic with "life changing" injuries.
Oskar Pawlowichz, 29, is thought to have been one of a gang of four who forced their way into the home in Wimbledon and smashed Paul Kohler repeatedly around the face.
Mr Kohler, a father of four and law lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies, was left needing facial reconstructive surgery and struggling to see after his eye socket was badly damaged.
His wife Samatha was tied up with tape by the raiders who demanded the family hand over cash.
The couple endured an eight-minute ordeal and only escaped because Mr Kohler's daughter was able to flee with her boyfriend to her bedroom where she locked the door and called police.
Two of the men were arrested at the scene during the attack shortly after 10pm on August 11.
Another was detained on Monday morning in nearby Garrett Lane, in Wandsworth, on suspicion of aggravated burglary.
Detectives fear 29-year-old Pawlowichz may try to flee the country and have distributed his details to border posts.
They put out an appeal for help tracking down the Pole who they described as 6ft, stocky, bow-legged and walks with a limp.
Police said he was caught on CCTV fleeing from the scene and was filmed crossing The Broadway and passing through the car park of the New Wimbledon Theatre.
Detective Inspector Dan O'Sullivan said: "We are calling for members of the public, in particular the Polish community, to assist us in tracing Pawlowichz's whereabouts.
"We believe that he may make an attempt to flee from the UK to Poland, and at present we are in direct liaison with the Polish authorities, UK Border Agency and Interpol and a co-ordinated effort to detain Pawlowichz is under way."
Mr Kohler had surgery for a fractured eye socket and suffered multiple facial injuries and extensive bruising to his body and limbs.
He told the Evening Standard that he was only saved from having a wooden cabinet smashed on his head by a quick-acting police officer who arrived in the nick of time.
Mr Kohler, 55, who also has a share in a London cabaret club, said: "He didn't think about himself, he just grabbed him and took him out. It was really brave.
"I was quite bad, lying in a pool of my own blood at this point and I'm sure had that happened, the fractured skull they thought I had would have happened."
:: Anyone with information can call police on 020 8649 3159 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.