A GRANDFATHER has been left puzzled by a bizarre series of events which he claims culminated in the poisoning of his garden pond fish.

Roger Curtis, 75, said he witnessed an individual enter his back garden and pour a yellow container of a bleach-like substance into his pond before scaling a 6ft high metal gate.

He captured images of the pond which frothed and smelt like bleach as a result of the incident – killing his six fish despite a two-hour rescue attempt.

Mr Curtis believes he has been the victim of continued attacks on the pond of his Aycliffe Village home, near Newton Aycliffe, since May.

"I can think of no reason for this attack," he said. "My wife and I have lived in the village for over 30 years, are both in our seventies, and never had an experience like this."

The retired businessman and his wife Sue Curtis, 72, were away for a number of weeks from May into June and left their pond in the care of their neighbours.

However, according to their neighbours, during the trip the water level had been reduced by a significant amount on eight overnight occasions.

Each time the pond was refilled and on June 9 the pond was almost completely emptied.

Mr Curtis said the house alarm was also activated on two further occasions in early June.

Following the couple's return on June 12, no more incidents occurred until at about 10.45pm on Thursday, June 28, when they watched from a back room as the apparent trespasser entered.

"I wonder if they thought the fish in the pond were valuable, but they weren't," added Mr Curtis.

"We had ghost carp and some sort of similar carp which looked like Koi carp.

"The whole thing is so puzzling. My wife feels a little insecure and I'm annoyed some asinine individual has poured bleach into the pond."

As well as killing the fish, the substance has burnt the algae from the pond's water feature, damaged the surrounding plants and has left a white mark down the property's private driveway.

Mr Curtis has since painted his gate and wall in anti-climb paint in order to prevent future potential attacks.

Durham Police confirmed they were called to an address at The Green, in Aycliffe Village, on June 28, following reports of criminal damage.

A spokesperson said it is believed the suspect climbed over the gate of the address and threw a powdered substance into the victim’s pond, killing the fish inside.

They said all lines of enquiry had been completed and the investigation was closed pending any further information.