|robbery in castle bytham : december 2006
added 17/12/06 : updated xxx : checked xxx
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donations flood in for raid victim added 17/12/06
As reported in the Stamford Mercury on Friday 8 December ...
A widow whose Christmas savings were stolen by masked intruders has been overwhelmed with the kindness of friends and complete strangers.
Kathleen Broadbent, 80, of Castle Bytham, was subjected to a terrifying ordeal when two men in balaclavas forced their way into her home and snatched £130 in savings, her £70 pension and a gold ring.
Mrs Broadbent opened the front door with the security chain attached believing it to be her daughter. But the thugs broke the chain, threatened her and knocked her to the ground before taking her money and jewellery to pay for drugs.
Her shocking ordeal has touched local people. The former village postmistress took £20 round to her home, and another woman dropped off a £30 cheque at her daughter Denise's house in the village.
And a Langham woman, whose own mother-in-law faced a similar ordeal, has given her £150.
The mother-of-four, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: "I'm only too happy to give her a better Christmas and restore her faith in humanity. There are nice people around but equally we live with some absolute horrors.
"Two and a half years ago two lads broke into my mother-in-law's house and took all sorts. I am delighted she will accept the money, it has made my day."
Kathleen lives on her pension and had saved all year to get enough money for Christmas shopping. She had only drawn the cash out the day before.
But now she is determined to put the ordeal behind her.
The feisty grandmother said: "I've not let it worry me. I've got on as usual, it just hits you a little bit. I have always been a fighter, I'm very independent."
"I thought I was safe with a chain, they tell you to buy these things. But the council has put up a new chain and I feel safer now."
"I've lived in the village all my life and there are some nice people here and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. And the woman from Langham, it is so kind of her, somebody you don't even know. I can't thank her enough."
Despite an appeal for information about the two masked men in last week's Mercury, no-one has yet contacted police.
A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: "We haven't had any response to our appeals so far but would like anyone who knows anything to contact us."
Anyone who saw two men acting suspiciously in the area should contact Detective Constable Nethercott at Stamford police on 01780 762222.
robbers terrorise woman added 17/12/06
As reported in the Stamford Mercury on Friday 1 December ...
A widow was terrorised by masked intruders who burst into her home and took her Christmas savings to pay for drugs.
Kathleen Broadbent, 81, of Castle Bytham, was subjected to the terrifying ordeal when two thugs wearing balaclavas forced their way into her bungalow before snatching her £70 pension money, a gold ring and £130 in savings.
Mrs Broadbent went to answer the door believing her daughter had called by to visit. Having attached the security chain and opened the door a fraction the men broke the chain and forced their way into the porch.
One grabbed the grandmother by the shoulders and forced her back through the bungalow before slamming her on to her bed with orders not to move.
Mrs Broadbent said: "It was about 7.30pm and I thought it was my daughter but when I got to the porch and opened the door, which was still on the chain, these two men smashed their way through.
"As soon as they got in they grabbed me really hard and just shoved me along the hall and on to the bed in my bedroom."
"They were both wearing gloves because I remember having a hand over my mouth."
"They kept swearing at me and threatening me with all sorts.
"They said they wanted money for drugs."
"One then grabbed my handbag and emptied all my pension money before grabbing some other money I had been saving for Christmas presents."
Once the money in the bedroom had been taken, Mrs Broadbent's ordeal continued as she was dragged to the lounge and flung to the floor while the men went in search of more cash.
She said: "They clearly were not satisfied with what they had and decided to go through a bureau where I keep all my charity bits and bobs and old photos."
"It was here that I was knocked down and lost my glasses. When they found nothing, they rushed back out and off down the road."
"These people are absolute scum."
"I have never had much and life bringing up my children was always tough.
"The fact that these vermin just forced their way in and took what little I now have is despicable – I was absolutely terrified."
The robbery happened on Thursday last week.
Police have since discovered the men had first tried to force open a back window.
Mrs Broadbent was understandably unable to give police a detailed description of the robbers but said they were in their 30s or 40s and wore dark clothes.
If you saw two men acting suspiciously in the area, or have any information you think could help the police, call Detective Constable Nethercott at Stamford police on 01780 762222.