Innocent man watches in horror as Ring doorbell captures police smashing their way into his home while he's working away

Leo Wallace-Barr's Ring doorbell showed police smashing their way in to his home
-Credit: (Image: No credit)

A bewildered 65 year-old man watched as police broke into his home while he was nearly 100 miles away working.

Leo Wallace-Barr, 65, was in Ambleside, Cumbria for a job when his Ring Doorbell app "suddenly started going berserk". Leo, who runs his own knife-sharpening business, had left his home early that day and was setting up his tools in the Lake District just before 9am when his phone began to buzz with alerts.

Leo said: "I usually ignore it when I'm at work. It's generally just people delivering flyers or something. But the notifications just went on and on."


"So I relented and opened the app. Then I saw all these people outside my house. There was a big commotion going on."

Shocked by what he was witnessing, Leo checked the internal camera at his home in Speke, Merseyside. He described: "I opened Apple Home and saw a mob of ant-like people swarming around inside.", reports the Liverpool Echo.

But they weren't typical burglars - they were uniformed police officers.

Initially, Leo thought he had been the victim of a burglary, and that the police were there to help him. He explained: "When I saw it, I thought - innocently enough - maybe some dangerous armed robber had broken in and they'd seen it and chased him away."

Leo Wallace-Barr, whose house in Speke was raided by police
Leo Wallace Barr, whose house in Speke was raided by police -Credit:Liverpool Echo

In Ambleside, Leo hastily left his work and hurried home upon learning of the commotion. Arriving at his residence, he found a scene of eerie silence, his front doors shattered and hastily boarded up.

Inside, the aftermath of a police search was evident, with his belongings, including attic contents and garments, having been rummaged through.

Doorbell camera footage captured the moment law enforcement wielded power tools to remove Leo's front door. Reflecting on the ordeal, Leo expressed: "It was just horrible. I felt like I'd been assaulted. It was a massive violation."

The incident also took a toll on his pet, as Leo recounted: "My poor cat was hiding for three days afterwards. She didn't eat properly for a week. I was really angry about it."

Seeking answers, Leo contacted the police via the non-emergency number 101. He was informed that a court-issued warrant had led to the search under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Baffled, Leo protested: "I don't even smoke cigarettes", adding, "There aren't any ashtrays in my house. I'm a man in his sixties! You just assume police are correct about things."

He alleges that the police linked their suspicions to the air conditioning units installed at his home and the frosted glass on the lower windows, insinuating - as per Leo's understanding - that he was running a cannabis cultivation operation within his dwelling.

After speaking to the police and growing concerned about his home's security, Leo took immediate action to replace his front doors, hiring a door fitter who charged £1,800 for the job.

He also made a point of apologising to his neighbours, expressing his feelings: "I went to the neighbours to apologise for what happened. They were very sympathetic. But I felt so ashamed and guilty over it. I could see on the Ring Doorbell app that everyone was walking by and gawking, rubber-necking. God knows what they thought."

Leo is now embroiled in the process of seeking compensation for the repairs, although he's finding the paperwork and effort required frustratingly burdensome.

He shared his exasperation, saying: "I don't have time to go to court over this. I stand up for 14 hours a day at work - it's very physical."

Merseyside Police provided a statement regarding the incident: "We can confirm that a search warrant was carried out at a property in Speke on Friday 7 June."

Detailing the operation, the spokesperson added: "Officers, acting on the basis of intelligence, carried out the warrant and entry was forced to the premises and a search completed, which proved negative."

The police force defended its procedures, stating: "The force carries out rigorous checks when considering the use of warrants and they are only carried out based on sufficient intelligence and when sanctioned by a court."

In the aftermath, the police acknowledged a complaint had been lodged: "Following the warrant, a complaint was made to Merseyside Police and inquiries were carried out by the force's Professional Standards Department (PSD)."

"No formal action will be taken and the complainant has been informed."