Millionaire Timothy Mardon 'shot after whispered 999 call'

Charlie Simms (centre) in court alongside Kalebh Shreeve and Christopher Bergin Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption Charlie Simms (centre) is one of three men on trial at Chelmsford Crown Court

A millionaire businessman whispered to a 999 operator that burglars were in his mansion, moments before he was shot through a locked door, a court heard.

Father-of-two Timothy Mardon had barricaded himself in after hearing intruders going from room to room.

Three men broke into the Grade II listed mansion in Sible Hedingham, Essex on 6 February.

One man denies attempted murder and aggravated burglary. Two others have denied aggravated burglary.

Mr Mardon, who is in his 40s, had a high-powered job at an insurance firm, but the raiders had mistakenly believed he was a drug dealer.

He told Chelmsford Crown Court he was home alone when he awoke to the sound of voices and footsteps on his gravel drive.

A man could be seen trying to force open a sash window, he said.

'Weed money'

Mr Mardon had called 999, and was still on the line to the police when he was shot, the court was told.

Image caption The victim was shot after burglars broke into the house in Sible Hedingham - they fled empty-handed

A recording of the call, which lasted almost 35 minutes, was played to the jury.

"Suddenly there was a loud explosion," said Mr Mardon, giving evidence.

"I was thrown to the ground and the door burst open and the individual with the stocking over his head burst into the room wielding a gun."

The court heard the gunman screamed at him: "Where's the weed money?"

With blood pouring from the leg wound, he replied: "I don't deal weed. I work for an insurance company."

Mr Mardon said the intruder threatened to kill his family if he was lying.

Charlie Simms, 23 from Great Yeldham, Kalebh Shreeve, 24, and Christopher Bergin, 27, both from Sible Hedingham, deny charges of aggravated burglary, wounding with intent, possessing a firearm, and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Mr Simms also denies attempted murder.

The trial continues.

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