Elderly couple’s machete nightmare a horrific ordeal

Elderly man grabs blade with bare hands as burglars cut woman’s rings from fingers.

An elderly man who tried to wrestle a machete from the hands of a robber was yesterday recovering from the attack in which a woman’s hands were damaged when rings were cut off her fingers.

The couple, who have not been named, were visiting a relative in Chelsea when they were attacked shortly after midnight yesterday.

The couple were visiting a relative, Dawn Spence, who was house-sitting the Upper Seaview Road home for a friend who is travelling overseas.

According to police, two men, one armed with a machete, entered the house shortly after midnight yesterday and confronted the couple, who are in their 70s, in the lower section of the double-storey house.

Spence, who was sleeping upstairs at the time, heard the commotion and managed to press the panic button.

She declined to elaborate on the details, but confirmed that the man had sustained lacerations to both hands after grabbing the sharp blade during the attack.

“He had about 50 stitches and luckily all the tendons are fine,” she said.
Asked about the woman, Spence said the robbers had used side-cutters to cut rings off her fingers.

“Her hand was a bit bruised but otherwise both are fine.
“We are shocked by the incident but everyone is fine and there was no serious damage [or injuries].”

After the attack the couple was taken to hospital for treatment but discharged later in the morning.

Atlas operations manager Monty Montgomery said his response officers had kicked open the front door after arriving in an attempt to catch the perpetrators inside the house.

“My guys arrived and looked through the window, where they saw the elderly man inside, stumbling around.

“He was staggering around and it was thought that the suspects were still inside the house.

“The door was kicked open, but the suspects had already fled.

“The woman was found inside one of the bedrooms with an injury to her hand after the suspects wrestled her for her jewellery and rings which were on her fingers.”

Montgomery said the man had suffered cuts on both hands after he tried to wrestle the machete away from the attackers. The men gained entry by removing a window from one of the rooms.

“The suspects managed to loosen the window and remove the actual window pane before climbing inside.”

Montgomery said noises had woken the couple.

“When the man went to investigate, the confrontation ensued, which led to both of them being assaulted and ushered into a bedroom, where they were tied up,” he said.

Police spokesman Captain Johan Rheeder said a case of house robbery was under investigation and leads were being followed up.

By: Gareth Wilson/Herald Live


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