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Police still hunting for three knifemen who burst into child’s birthday party demanding drugs

Hunter Road - where three masked man invaded a child's 10th birthday party. Picture: Dominic Gilbert

Hunter Road - where three masked man invaded a child's 10th birthday party. Picture: Dominic Gilbert

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Police continue the hunt today for three men who burst into a child’s tenth birthday party wielding knives and demanding drugs.

Hunter Road in Catton Grove. Picture: GoogleHunter Road in Catton Grove. Picture: Google

The Catton Grove family had “just sung happy birthday and blown out the candles” when the men forced their way through their back door around 6.50pm on Friday.

Four children were sitting on the sofa at the home on Hunter Road, eating cake at the time.

They had demanded cannabis and cash from the unsuspecting couple, while brandishing blades with their faces covered by masks.

“At first we thought it was a joke or something, we just didn’t process it,” said the father, 55, who asked not to be named.

“This was a kid’s party and they didn’t care - they just carried on.”

The men were saying ‘where is the weed, where is the money’, the couple said.

“I just said ‘what are you on about, there’s nothing here’,” the father said.

The trio are described as black, two were around 6ft tall with one shorter - around 5’5”.

Hunter Road - where three masked men invaded a child's tenth birthday party. Picture; Dominic GilbertHunter Road - where three masked men invaded a child's tenth birthday party. Picture; Dominic Gilbert

One was carrying a knife with a black, serrated blade.

They stole the mobile phone from the mother, 37, to prevent her calling police.

MORE: “We had just blown out the candles” - couple describe moment masked robbers invade son’s birthday party

“They did seem unsure of themselves,” added the man. “The big one ran out and then I just started saying to the others, ‘get out, I don’t know what you’re talking about, you’ve got the wrong address’.”

He added the smaller attacker wouldn’t leave.

“I pushed him out of the back door, but he had his arm still inside with the blade trying to slice me,” he said.

Inspector Graham Dalton. Photo: Lenore Everson/Norfolk ConstabularyInspector Graham Dalton. Photo: Lenore Everson/Norfolk Constabulary

“It was all over in seconds. I was just on automatic really and thinking about it now how lucky we all were that nobody got stabbed or hurt.”

The victims were “shaken” but uninjured, but the woman’s mobile phone - an Alcatel U5 - was stolen in the attack.

It has voice recordings of her late mother on it, and the couple are hoping for its return.

It has a cracked screen and a ‘pop-socket’ on the back.

The man added: “The fact they didn’t go any further showed they were unsure of themselves. I think they believed us when we said there is nothing here.

“It just seemed a really badly thought-out crime.”

The couple said their son asked them after the attack: “Why did they have to spoil my birthday?”

Hunt continues for attackers

A manhunt was launched as police “flooded” the area after the incident, but no arrests have yet been made.

Inspector Graham Dalton of Norfolk Police said the men may have targeted the wrong house.

Police believe they are linked to county lines drug dealing.

“We suspect these are Gravity offenders because they were asking for drugs when they went into the address,” added Insp Dalton.

“That is really sad especially as there were some children in the address.

“We did flood the area to try to look for the suspects but unfortunately we didn’t manage to locate them. We have enquiries ongoing locally, including CCTV.”

Insp Dalton said the incident must have been “very distressing” for those involved, and moved to reassure victims and those living nearby that officers were doing “everything we can to find the offenders quickly”.

And he added: “If anyone has any information as to why this property may have been targeted please get in touch.”

Anyone with any information should contact Norwich CID on 101. Alternatively information can be left with Crimestoppers on 0800 555111

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