A man was struck in the head by a hammer after he came to the aid of his neighbours who were being threatened by armed intruders.
Police are now appealing to anyone who has information about the incident, which happened on Fairclough Street in Hindley, Wigan, at about 11pm on 31 March 2015.
A couple – a 21-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman – were at their home when three armed offenders forced their way in through the front door of the house.
One was brandishing a machete, another a hammer. The offender carrying the machete waved it menacingly towards the man and threatened him.
Hearing the commotion, the couple’s neighbour, a 56-year-old man, came to their aid but as he went into the house, he was struck in the head with a hammer. He later required hospital treatment to stop the bleeding and was later discharged.
The gang stole the 21-year-old man’s Hugo Boss watch and then fled towards Ladies Lane.
Police are now appealing to anyone who has information to come forward.
The first offender was described as being white, of a skinny build, 5ft 6in tall, in his mid-30s and wearing a black baseball cap, a black neck warmer to cover the lower part of his face and a black baggy raincoat. The second was also white, of a bigger build with brown or ginger stubble, 5ft 9in tall, in his mid-20s and wearing a baggy jumper and a red and blue baseball cap.
The third man was also white, of a medium build with a dark-coloured beard, about 5ft 9in tall, in his mid-30s and wearing a black woolly hat.
Police Constable Chris Waddicar said: “We are investigating this deeply unsettling incident which has left a young couple extremely traumatised and another man, who was only being a good neighbour, with a head injury that needed hospital treatment.
“I have to pay tribute to the bravery of the neighbour, who did not turn a blind eye but showed great courage in risking his own safety to help out his neighbours. For his trouble, he was smashed in the head with a hammer and lost a considerable amount of blood while the other offenders stole an expensive watch.
“I am sure people in this community will be appalled by the circumstances of this crime so I would ask people to use that anger and help us find the culprits.
“We believe the offenders may be local to the area so please, if you have any information whatsoever or you suspect who may be involved, then please do the right thing and call us so we can give the victims peace of mind and stop this gang before any other innocent members of our community are targeted.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.