THREE men have appeared in court accused of beating a man with a metal pole and cricket bat after he was said to have broken into one of their homes and held their family at knifepoint.

Munir Hussain’s family were held by three men with knives – but he fought back against one and attacked him with two relatives who lived nearby, Reading Crown Court was told.

Waled Salem, 56, previously of Boreham Wood, Hertfordshire, was left with a fractured skull and severe bruising of the brain after the street attack.

A witness said he thought Mr Salem was going to be killed.

Now Mr Hussain, 52, Wahleed Hussain, 20, and Tokeer Hussain, 35 are charged with grievous bodily harm with intent. They have pleaded not guilty.

A prosecutor said the family were victims and their initial fightback was lawful – but their final assault could not be justified.

Mr Hussain and his two sons were taken captive when he returned from a mosque to his Desborough Park Road, High Wycombe home on September 3 last year.

The court heard Mr Hussain senior’s wife and daughter were also held.

John Price QC, prosecuting, told the court: “As the door was opened to them they were suddenly ambushed and they saw a man with a balaclava over his head with a knife.

“Munir and his two sons and the two women of the house were forced by this man into the living room.

“They were instructed to lie face down with their hands behind their back, they were told that if they did not they would be killed.

“Whatever the motivation of the attack, it was something of a personal kind.

“It didn’t seem it had been done out of a desire to steal anything, rather that it was directed at the people who lived there.”

The court was told one of the sons escaped to his bedroom upstairs, called the police and then left via a window, managing to get to the ground floor and to safety.

Two of the men went upstairs to find him and fled when they failed to find him, Mr Price said.

The family and the masked man downstairs heard the boy as he jumped, jurors heard.

Munir Hussain was “emboldened by this turn of events” and “hurled a coffee table at the man”, Mr Price said.

A struggle ensued and the balaclava was ripped from the intruder’s face before he fled the house, the court was told.

Munir Hussain and three others were seen chasing Mr Salem, before cornering him and beating him up, according to witnesses. This did not involve the two sons held in the house.

Mr Price said Mr Salem could have “died from his injuries because they were so severe”.

He was attacked with weapons including a metal pole and cricket bat in a small front garden belonging to neighbour Miranda McCoughlin, the court heard.

One man was bent over Mr Salem, punching him in the face and saying ‘who sent you?’ according to her written testimony, summarised by Mr Price.

Others kicked and stamped on him, he said.

A statement from neighbour Mark O’Brien, said: “The man on the floor was screaming like I never heard screaming before.

“I heard him say ‘stop, please stop’. I really thought that they were going to kill the man on the floor.”

Mr Price said: “Other residents in Desborough Park Road who saw the attack all of them without exception remarked on its apparent ferocity.”

Mr Salem was taken to Stoke Mandeville Hospital with severe bruising to the brain, a fractured jaw, elbow and finger and later to the neurology ward at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.

Mr Price said the Hussain family were “the victims of a grave and quite outrageous crime” and had acted “entirely lawfully” while inside the house, but what happened after could not be justified.

“If things had stopped there these men wouldn’t be where they are now but they didn’t.”

The trial continues.