Property tycoon offers £10,000 reward to find violent burglar who tied woman up and gagged her for TWO DAYS in her home

A PROPERTY tycoon has offered a £10,000 reward to find a violent burglar who tied an elderly woman up in her home and gagged her for two days.

The victim was attacked at her rural country home in Frittenden, Kent on Easter Sunday in a "traumatic ordeal".


Property tycoon Fergus Wilson, 72, has offered £10,000 for any information which leads to the suspect's arrest and conviction.

The victim had been in the garden when a cyclist duped her into getting a bottle of water for him.

The man then suddenly jumped over the fence and forced the terrified victim back inside her home.

He punched her in the face and body, held a knife to her face and then tied her up while he ransacked the cottage.

In offering the reward, Mr Wilson said: "I want to send a message to anybody who may know of the man or may be a friend. There is a substantial reward for any information which leads to the arrest and conviction of this suspect.

"I hope it would lead to a custodial sentence and I think the culprit would have an extremely uncomfortable time in prison as there's not a lot of sympathy for people who attack old ladies.

"Cases where old women are attacked by what appears to be young men are appalling.

"Somebody has got to do something haven't they? I thought about what I could do to help and I hope this does."

The pensioner was not found until almost 50 hours after the initial attack at around 6pm on Easter Sunday.

Police were called to the property at 7.30pm on Tuesday and found her still tied up. It is believed the woman's elderly mother raised the alarm after not hearing from her daughter.

TWISTED ACT

It has now been revealed the woman had a bottle of alcohol poured over her in a final twisted act.

And investigating officers believe the violent attacker probably escaped with less than £100 in cash.

The woman has now returned home from hospital where she was treated for dehydration, cuts to her face, bruising and a black eye.

She had been restrained in a way so she could not even reach a window to call for help or fetch food and water.

An investigation is being led by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kimber said: "The victim has endured a harrowing and traumatic ordeal and we are appealing to members of the public to help us find the person responsible.

"If you saw anyone acting suspiciously please don’t hesitate to contact us.

"It is possible this man may have passed by other properties in the area and therefore we are also urging residents to check any CCTV or doorbell cameras for anything suspicious.

"If you were driving through this area you may also have important footage on dashcams.

"Please do check if you have these devices in your vehicle, as they could contain evidence vital to the investigation."

The suspect is white, aged in his 20s to 30s, around 5ft 10ins tall and of slim build.

He was described as having a local accent and wearing black trainers, a black hooded top and black gloves with white markings on them.

Friends say the woman, who has not been named, said the terrifying ordeal has left her extremely shaken.

She is also struggling to speak about the incident.

'STARTLINGLY VIOLENT'

A friend who did not want to be identified said: "It was a startlingly violent, evil man against a woman.

"It's not always that a man is stronger than a woman but here was an instance where there was an evil man who was stronger than a woman and found nothing in his way. He simply didn't care.

"I think it will be the same for any other person who has been attacked. The times where you're on your own – wherever it is – will leave you most fearful."

It is thought the victim lived alone in the idyllic cottage home.

Police were seen combing the roadside verges near the remote property on Wednesday for clues.

Teaching assistant Claire Clews, 55, who lives nearby, said: "I run around that area and I had a bit of a sleepless night last night thinking while I was running, that poor lady was tied up in that house and I was totally unaware of that.

"I saw police raking through ditches looking for evidence on Wednesday.

"It's worrying living so close to something like that. We've lived here for almost 20 years and it's the first time something like this has happened.

"It is so isolated. And she seemed like a very private person."

Neighbour John Mills, 79, a retired painter and decorator, said: "I've spoken to the lady once or twice. She lived there on her own and I think she lost her dog a couple of years ago when she came round looking for it.

"It sounds like it was really nasty business but that's the trouble with living in the middle of nowhere I suppose.

"If it's after dark I don't answer the door and carry on regardless. You wouldn't think crime would come out right here but sadly it does occasionally.

"The first I knew something had happened was when I saw the police round there on Tuesday. They blocked off the road and officers were walking along the ditch-side with sticks."

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