Intruder beats woman (84)

2008-09-08 00:00

AN 84-year-old woman suffered a brutal assault by a man who repeatedly hit her with an iron bar during a robbery at her Hayfields home on Sunday morning.

Jean Shemmans suffered bruises on her shoulders and a broken bone. She was attacked after she finished hanging up her washing outside her house.

The attack happened when her daughter Barbara Wilcocks (62) and son-in-law Philip (66) were at church. Shemmans lives in a granny flat on their well-secured property.

“As I was walking back into the house someone came and grabbed me with an arm on my throat, and demanded that I keep quiet. While he had his arm on my neck he pushed me into the house,” said Shemmans.

Inside the house, the man pushed Shemmans to the floor and demanded that she hand over all the cash in the house. She told him there was an envelope with R300 cash in her dressing table drawer. The man took the money and ransacked her bedroom, demanding more money.

“He demanded that I hand over more cash and my purse. I told him that I don’t carry a purse and that there was no other money in my house,” said Shemmans.

She said the man then repeatedly hit her with an iron bar on her shoulders. She passed out, only regaining consciousness after the man had left.

“When I woke up I pretended that I was still unconscious in case he was still around. After realising that he had left I crawled as fast as I could to lock the burglar guard. Then I noticed that he had also stolen my portable radio,” said Shemmans.

Trying to call for help, she could only leave a missed call on her daughter’s cellphone, but coincidentally, Phillip’s sister Phyllis Marx phoned from Cape Town, to wish Philip a belated happy birthday for Saturday.

When Shemmans answered the call, Marx realised that she was hysterical and immediately called a friend who lives in Pietermaritzburg, to ask her to contact the local police and to go see what was wrong.

“After seeing the missed call I rushed home, only to find police and my sister-in-law’s friend,” said Shemman’s daughter Barbara.

Shemmans was rushed to hospital, where she was treated and released.

“The doctor found that one of her shoulder bones was cracked. He said it cannot be fixed, but will heal itself,” said Barbara.

Philip said the intruder gained access to his premises by cutting razor wire and jumping over an electric fence after climbing up a tree.

“About eight months ago, someone tried to break into my home, but the alarm system picked him up. I immediately installed the electric wires,” said Philip.

Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram appealed to anyone with information on the attack contact Detective Inspector Ablon Majozi on 033 845 7704 or 072 818 4145. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stop on the toll-free number 08600 10111.

bhans@witness.co.za

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