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Armed police storm Caterham house

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FATHER-OF-ONE Stephen Taylor has said he feared he would be shot dead after armed officers stormed his Caterham house.

Gun-wielding police, backed by a force helicopter and police dog, stormed the semi-detached property in Thomas Avenue after the road was cordoned off on Thursday evening. They were responding to an anonymous call to Crimestoppers alleging that a man had threatened another man with a gun.

They eventually arrested their suspect – Mr Taylor – at gunpoint in Coulsdon Road soon afterwards.

He was handcuffed and held at Reigate police station for almost 24 hours. But the story took a dramatic twist the following afternoon when Mr Taylor, 43, was freed without charge.

Speaking on Monday to the Mirror, he said: "How could police get it so wrong?

"If I had been in, I could have gone downstairs and been gunned down.

"Thankfully my eight-year-old daughter was out at a neighbour's party at the time, or I dread to think what could have happened to her.

"I was handcuffed and held in cells over something I didn't do.

"Police kept saying I had a gun."

Mr Taylor admitted he had been "no angel" in the past. He was given a three-year Asbo last year banning him from 15 pubs, for a "catalogue of antisocial behaviour", and was then jailed for six weeks after breaching the Asbo the same day.

A Thomas Avenue resident said: "The police helicopter was hovering overhead for ages. I saw four police carrying guns, two near the rear of the house and two others edging towards the front door.

"They shouted a couple of times 'come out with your hands up'.

"Eventually police forced open the front door, and a police dog went into the property but apparently no-one was at home."

Mr Taylor, who said he was out visiting a friend at the time, was arrested nearby shortly afterwards.

Detective Inspector Sean Kelly said: "Surrey Police will always take threats of this nature extremely seriously and send a response appropriate to the information which we receive.

"We have carried out a thorough investigation into this incident and have not found anything to suggest a criminal offence has taken place.

"I would like to thank the local community for their patience while we dealt with this incident."

Armed police storm Caterham house


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