Notorious hardmans house smashed up by baseball-bat wielding masked gang

The family home of a notorious hardman has been smashed up by a masked gang with baseball bats during a frightening attack.

John Henry Sayers, 59, was enjoying tea with his children when armed men pulled outside of his home in Newcastle on June 16.

In footage circulating on WhatsApp, four men can be seen jumping out of two black vehicles before smashing up cars outside.

They proceeded to shout and swear as they wrecked Sayers' home before they fled the scene at around 4pm.

Sayers and his brothers, Stephen and Michael, earned a reputation as Tyneside's most infamous hardmen in the 1990s.

But they have since pledged to put their criminal pasts behind them, reports Chronicle Live.

The dad-of-six was sentenced to 15 years behind bars for masterminding a violent £350,000 wages robbery at Pritchard’s security firm in Gateshead in 1990.

In 2002 he was cleared of being behind the murder of Freddie Knights, who was gunned down on his mother’s doorstep in Longbenton.

But years later Sayers, his brother Stephen and their associate Mark Rowe were accused of concocting a jury-nobbling plot during the murder trial and were charged with perverting the course of justice.

The trio were acquitted in 2010 after their trial collapsed, with a judge criticising the prosecution over its handling of the case. Then in 2013, Sayers was faced with a horrifying rape accusation.

A woman reported she had been raped and named him as the alleged attacker. The accusation left him sickened and in fear he would lose his children.

"They wouldn't tell us what it was for until they handcuffed us," he said. "When they said 'rape' I was in shock. The first thing I thought of was my mam."

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Sayers was charged with three counts of rape and one of conspiracy to rape and spent eight weeks on remand in some of the country's highest security prisons before the case was eventually discontinued when prosecutors said there was not "sufficient evidence".

At the time Sayers claimed the failed prosecution was a deliberate attempt at "character assassination".

Despite his past being put behind him, the family home has still been targeted, with pictures of the aftermath showing the property boarded up on Friday.

Sayers did not call the police himself, but it is understood officers were quickly on the scene and a 37-year-old man has been arrested.

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It is understood that he has signed a statement to say he would not be supporting any police investigation or prosecution arising from the incident.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “Shortly before 4.30pm yesterday (Thursday), police received a report of a disturbance at an address on the Fossway, Byker. It was reported that a number of windows had been smashed and damaged caused to vehicles parked in the street.

“As part of enquiries a 37-year-old man has been arrested, he currently remains in police custody at this time. Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to contact police using reference number NP-20220616-0780.”

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