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Sword thefts in Tonbridge a major blow for history buff

By Tonbridge Courier  |  Posted: November 29, 2013

By Anna Verdon anna.verdon@courier.co.uk

Michael St Omer had his swords stolen

Michael St Omer had his swords stolen

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AN AVID medieval re-enactor has been devastated by the theft of swords and spears he used in battles.

Despite the crime going to court, the case was dropped and the history enthusiast is yet to recover his belongings.

Michael St Omer, 28, was sleeping on his parents' sofa at their home in Tainter Road, Hadlow, after the breakdown of his marriage earlier this year.

He was using a nearby garage to store his swords and other weaponry when it was broken into in early May.

"They crowbarred the locks," he said.

"The thieves used two pins and managed to unhook the door.

"We believe it was a whole group of lads who thought the weapons were valuable and wanted to sell them on.

"I've only managed to get one of the swords back but the other one they don't make any more so I'm not able to replace it."

Two swords were taken. A federal officer cavalry sword from the American Civil War has been recovered and a brass Hilton fully weighted Norman Cavalry sword is still missing.

Two bows and a bundle of arrows were also taken as well as his ex-wife's engagement ring.

"Two of my spears were taken too," he said. "One was the first spear I ever bought for re-enactments so it has a lot of sentimental value, and one was a sharp throwing spear like a javelin.

"I can replace the weapons but they were the first ones I ever had and they meant a lot to me."

The history buff, who has also starred in films such as Robin Hood alongside Russell Crowe and Jack the Giant Slayer, is not holding out hope of getting them back but put photographs of the weapons online.

"I have connections to medieval siege groups around the world so hopefully they will notice if the weapons turn up anywhere else," he said.

"It is a bit worrying as the thieves might try and fight each other with them but re-enactors spend around six months training so they won't know the safe ways to do so."

The burglary was another blow after a terrible year for Mr St Omer, who now lives in the Isle of Wight with his current partner and her two children.

After the breakdown of his marriage he was diagnosed with microvascular disease, a rare heart condition, and found himself in hospital two weeks after the burglary.

As a result, he can no longer take part in re-enactment battles.

"I've always been interested in history and started re-enacting in 2006," he said.

"It was my first taste and I was training in stage combat for couple of years before that.

"Because of my heart condition I can't wear my armour any more or take part in battles. But my dream is to get my strength back up and become a jouster."

Two youths accused of handling stolen goods had their charges dropped at Sevenoaks Magistrates' Court on November 19 due to insufficient evidence.

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