Beaten to death at 84

2011-05-26 00:00

AN elderly man was beaten to death and his traumatised wife hospitalised on Tuesday evening after five men stormed into their house in Howick, outside Pietermaritzburg, and assaulted them.

Graham Culverwell of Merrivale died in his study after he had been severely assaulted.

His wife, Hillary, had her mouth gagged and her hands tied with plastic tape, but she managed to free herself and pressed a panic button to alert Knight Force Armed Response.

The pensioners, who have four sons, are both 84.

Culverwell was a panelbeater before he retired. He also restored vintage vehicles.

The invasion happened at about 7 pm.

The couple’s youngest son, Gary Culverwell (54), said he arrived at the scene from his Hilton home at about 8 pm.

“When I got here I found there were already many police officers, security guards and paramedics here. My father was lying dead in the study and my traumatised mother had already been taken by neighbours to their home,” said Culverwell, who manages a local shop.

There were no signs of forced entry, and Culverwell said his mother was feeding the couple’s two dogs when the men ran into the house.

“Two went for my mother, while three went for my dad,” said Culverwell.

The men apparently demanded money, and after his mother had given them the R300 she had in her purse, they demanded more.

After having tied her up and put her in the bathroom, they attacked Graham Culverwell and took his cellphone.

“My parents are so old and we thought they would just fade away on their own. My father could not even walk without the support of a Zimmer frame. They should have just let them stand there and taken whatever they wanted to take.”

The couple’s house is in Geekie Road.

The neighbours reportedly heard the dogs barking non-stop. Two security guards from Knight Force Armed Response responded to Hillary Culverwell’s panic button call for help.

The owner of the company, Gary Preston, said the guards found her with blood on her body.

In another room they found her husband, already dead.

“One of our guards saw a suspect peeping through the window and he fired two shots but missed the suspect,” said Preston.

The man apparently got away by jumping over a concrete fence behind the house and ran on to the nearby railway line before disappearing.

Later Mountain Rise dog unit officers arrived at the scene.

Preston said roadblocks were put up on various routes and raids were conducted in local residential areas, but the suspects were nowhere to be found.

Police spokesperson Captain Lolly Moodley said police found Culverwell’s stolen cellphone next to the concrete fence.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.