Lakenheath: Police chief deplores “despicable” attack that left 89-year-old woman in hospital
16:42 18 February 2014
The police officer leading the hunt for three suspected burglars whose attack left an 89-year-old woman in hospital has appealed to the area’s “criminal fraternity” for help.
Police officers were out en masse in Arrowhead Drive, Lakenheath and the surrounding area today to piece together more information about the attack on Monday night, which is being treated as an aggravated burglary.
The woman confronted three burglars after hearing a loud bang at her front door, and was struck to the ground in her hallway by one of the men as he and his accomplices charged in.
Having threatened the woman and searched through the property, the three escaped via the back door. It is unclear whether they stole anything.
The victim was taken to West Suffolk Hospital with a cut to her head - described as about the size of a 50p piece - but is due to be released from hospital in the next 24 hours.
Residents living nearby spoke about a number of break-ins in the area, including one just before Christmas, but Detective Inspector David Giles said this crime “is up a level significantly”.
He also said the area’s “criminal fraternity” would be appalled by the “awful crime” and appealed for them to come forward with information.
“It is early days to know whether she’s been targeted specifically or whether this is a totally random attack,” he said.
“There has been a few burglaries in Lakenheath. We don’t suffer too badly from burglaries, however they are typically in unoccupied houses where someone has broken in - this is up a level significantly.
“To break in, as well as attack somebody whose very vulnerable, is despicable.”
None of the residents the EADT spoke to said they saw or heard anything at the time of the attack, between 7.45pm and 8.05pm.
Zoe Wilsher lives in Wingfield Road, behind the 89-year-old’s house in Arrowhead Drive.
She was walking her dog on a footpath near the lady’s house around the time of the attack, but did not hear anything until police cars sped past her on Lakenheath High Street heading to the estate.
She said: “If I had known I would have helped. I didn’t see anything, that’s why it seems so weird.
“I wish I could get hold of them and explain that this is someone’s mum, this is someone’s grandma. My grandma lives round here and I can’t imagine what I’d do if someone did that to her.”
Janet Stevens, who lives opposite the 89-year-old, said she had lived alone at the property for around 20 years and kept herself to herself.
She added: “She’s been on her own for a long time. We’ve been here 20 years and she’s always been there.
“You try and look out for each other and make sure you’re safe, but you can’t do anything about something like this. It’s very upsetting.”
Fellow neighbours along Arrowhead Drive said that carers would visit the bungalow daily, and the woman that lived there rarely ventured out.
Police are investigating the sighting of three men acting suspiciously in a black car - a Vauxhall Astra or something similar - in Back Street at 7.30pm.
The three men were described as wearing dark clothing, but had most of their faces covered.
Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously 0800 555111.