Police appeal after widow targeted

POLICE released pictures last night of two people they want to question after an 89-year-old widow was repeatedly targeted by bogus callers in her own home.

By Annie Davidson

POLICE released pictures last night of two people they want to question after an 89-year-old widow was repeatedly targeted by bogus callers in her own home.

Officers took the unusual step of releasing the images after revealing how the elderly woman had been left "scared witless" by a catalogue of incidents.

The woman's address in Great Bardfield, near Braintree, has been targeted on a number of occasions which police are linking.


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In the most recent incident on Wednesday lunchtime, a man and a woman called at her home saying they had bought her a bottle of whisky.

Detective Constable Austin Weston of Braintree CID, said the man then pushed his way into the house and the pair went through the pensioner's belongings.

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Nothing was stolen but hundreds of pounds have been taken in a number of previous incidents after intruders forced their way in.

Det-con Weston said he believed the incidents were linked and appealed to the public to help trace the pair in the picture so they could be questioned.

He said: "The lady has not been injured as such, but when they enter the property they barge past her as soon as she releases the chain from the door. They throw themselves through the door.

"This is an 89-year-old lady living on her own. She is vulnerable, intimidated and upset by these people.

"She is scared witless by the fact they are there and is afraid to answer her front door.

"For the safety of other people we need to catch these people."

Det-con Weston said he feared an elderly person could collapse and die from the shock of such an incident, as happened in July last year when 90-year-old Thelma Avis died less than four hours after conmen stole £1,000 from her Colchester home.

Police launched a murder enquiry and three people remain on bail as the police investigation continues.

Anyone who can identify the pair in the photographs should contact Det-con Weston on 01376 551312.

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