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Powerboat team gassed and robbed twice in 2 days
(Filed: 05/08/2006)

A British couple were robbed twice while asleep in their motor-home after being gassed at a service stations by motorway bandits.

Steve Cook, a British powerboat champion, and his fiancé Emma Deacon, were robbed by armed European immigrants who prey on tourists' caravans and motor-homes.

The couple, from Pershore, Worcs, were travelling to Valencia, Spain, for the world powerboat championships with two team members.

They were robbed in France and in Spain at service stations that were ''lit like football pitches'' after an ether-based substance had been pumped into their motor-home. The thieves took valuables worth £10,000, including wallets, purses, video cameras, phones, DVD players and a £3,000 watch.

Miss Deacon said: "It was a very distressing, upsetting and scary experience. We we're left fearing for our lives and our safety because these people carry knives."

The first incident happened near Montpellier on July 25 when wallets and phones were stolen. The team did not know they had been gassed until it happened again near Barcelona, the following day.

Despite the setbacks, Mr Cook finished second in qualifying and will go to China on Sept 15 for another round.



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