Top northern racehorse trainer Howard Johnson has had £100,000 stolen after he was held at gunpoint in his Co Durham home last night (Sunday 11 April).

The armed robbery happened at 11.20pm at Mr Johnson’s home, White Lea House, Roddymoor, near Crook.

The trainer was ordered to lie face down on the floor at gunpoint while his wife Sue was threatened with a 7in knife.

Mr Johnson, who trains Royal Rosa which ran in Saturday’s Grand National, told the police that two men forced entry to the front door and dragged his wife out of bed.

Neither were hurt but both are in shock.

Mr Johnson, 56, was reading newspaper when two men in balaclavas broke into his home.

I have never been as frightened in my life — and I have been kicked by bulls and horses and was nearly killed by a cow,” he told press.

“I jumped up and rushed to the door and there was two of them saying ‘We’re going to get you. Open the door.’

“They overpowered me and chucked me against the glass doors.

“They never got excited and they weren’t shaking, they were professionals.”

Co Durham constabulary is investigating the incident.

Detective inspector Simon Orton said: “Initial information resulted in armed response vehicles attending the premises, and officers conducted a search of the premises and surrounding area.

“Investigations into this incident are ongoing. A substantial amount of cash, totalling £100,000 was taken.

“We are appealing for witnesses who may have seen any suspicious activity in or around the area of the property before, or during the evening, or daytime to contact us.”

Anyone with information should call: 0345 6060 365