A man has spoken of his despair after thieves stole money to fund a life-changing operation for his disabled wife.
A hooded gang of three men broke into Mohamed Barakat’s home in Marine Crescent, Goring, in Worthing, on June 6, stealing cash and jewellery to fund £40,000 of treatments for Esberanes Ismail, who has suffered with a deteriorating physical condition for 14 years.
The first was on June 22 – but they have now been cancelled. The Egyptian father-of-four said: “This wasn’t teenagers, this was a gang of professionals.
“The most worrying thing was my wife’s car was in the driveway – if she was at home, they could have killed her.”
The break-in happened between 10.30am, when his wife was taken out for the day, and 3.45pm, when the couple returned home after picking up their 14-year-old daughter from Davison High School.
Locks on the £1,400 front door and their sideboard were broken, and clothes and papers littered the floor. A laptop, watch and passports were also stolen.
CCTV footage from the Sea Lane Café in Marine Crescent showed the gang leaving via Sea Lane, Mr Barakat said.
Due to her condition, Mrs Ismail has chronic pain. Several consultants recommended a line of treatment – but the NHS refused to fund it, citing a lack of evidence at its effectiveness.
Mr Barakat, 63, delayed his retirement as an NHS psychiatrist for three years to save up for treatment at the Karri Clinic in Willerby, East Yorkshire. He said: “We pray God will punish them for what they have done to us.”
The 54-year-old housewife said: “I waited a long time to do something to improve my life, and they took it all away in 15 minutes. It was more than money; it was everything to me.”
Mr Barakat said he was still waiting to hear from police about their investigation. Sussex Police said witnesses should call 101, quoting serial 865 of 06/06.