Mansfield dad says hostage terror will never leave him

A MANSFIELD dad who was left traumatised after he was held hostage by a criminal who threatened him with hammers, screwdrivers and wrenches says the terrifying incident has changed his life forever.

Security worker Perry Colton was carrying out a home visit to an offender to fit a security tag when the horrific attack took place in April 2006.

Dad-of-one Perry was working for security company, G4S Ltd, which failed to provide him with a silent alarm that sends a message to a control centre if an employee feels threatened.

It was taken from him when his employment was transferred to G4S from previous firm Premier Monitoring.

The 30-minute ordeal left the 59-year-old needing counselling, unable to work and psychologically scarred for life - but now he is calling for greater safety measures to be put in place to protect security firm staff.

“This incident changed my life forever,” he said. “My working life was destroyed as I was in constant fear of another attack, while my personal life also suffered enormously.

“I lost the will to do anything social and couldn’t face going outside a lot, so I stopped walking my dog and playing golf.

“I was forced to stop doing all the things I used to enjoy.”

He has now received a five-figure out-of-court settlement from security firm G4S Ltd, which his lawyers at Irwin Mitchell say will provide some financial security as he continues to rebuild his life.

“It took me a while to get back on my feet and it has been a horrible experience,” he added. “Thankfully I’m now back working again and I just hope my ex-employers take every step possible to protect the people still working there.

“Although I’m learning to cope with what happened, the events of that day will never truly leave me, and I want to make sure no-one else has to suffer as I have.”

Irwin Mitchell is also calling on his former employer to provide assurances that safety is its top priority and that lessons have been learnt to protect staff at the firm.

Sally Rissbrook, a workplace injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office, represented Perry in his battle for justice.

She said: “Perry’s psychological injuries had a devastating impact on his social and professional life.

“He was forced to leave the job he used to love as he could no longer face home visits; this left him facing a future of financial insecurity.

“While we are relieved that his battle for justice has now been won, and that he finally has access to the funds he needs to start rebuilding his life, no amount of money will ever truly compensate Perry for what he has been through.

“It is totally unacceptable that Perry was sent to the house where he suffered his terrifying ordeal on his own.

“We understand the correct procedure is for new offenders to be visited with a minimum of two officers, but this did not happen as G4S could not afford to send double crews.”

Miss Rissbrook said that G4S, which denied liability for the 30-minute attack, failed to provide Perry with a silent alarm which would have sent a message to the control centre during the incident.

“On this occasion they failed to implement the correct procedure for home visits and they now need to reassure Perry that their employees – and not cost cutting - is their top priority,” she said.

G4S had not provided a comment as to Chad went to press.