Shop workers shocked as woman, 72, tied up and stabbed in the face

SCENE The Goldman in Fratton Road, Fratton. Picture: Allan Hutchings (131374-556)
SCENE The Goldman in Fratton Road, Fratton. Picture: Allan Hutchings (131374-556)
Assistant Chief Constable Scott Chilton and District Commander Superintendent Maggie Blyth. Picture: Malcolm Wells

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SHOP workers have spoken of their shock after a pensioner was tied up and stabbed in the face by a robber.

The 72-year-old woman was working in The Goldman, in Fratton Road, Portsmouth, when a man broke in the back of the jewellery shop.

She tried to confront him but he put cable ties on her wrists and ankles. The elderly victim was then stabbed in the face and left with a swollen and bruised cheek.

She was taken to hospital for treatment and her injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Tracey Hatherley, manager of Lord George Amusement Arcade, in Fratton Road, watched medics help walk the pensioner into an ambulance. Ms Hatherley, 47, said: ‘She had a bandage on her head and was holding a blanket.

‘She’s a lovely old lady. I can’t believe anyone would want to harm her.

‘She drops a Christmas card in every year and washes the pavement outside her shop each day.

‘This is the first time I’ve heard of anything like this happening around here before.’

The incident happened at about 4.45pm on Tuesday.

The area outside the shop was taped off while an investigation was carried out.

The thief took several hundred pounds from the till and some jewellery.

The suspect left through the back of the shop and is believed to have made his way onto Claremont Road and Walmer Road.

Julie Webb, 46, a barmaid for The Froddington Arms, said: ‘I think it’s terrible, especially at that time of day when everyone is about.

‘You see things like that on Crimewatch. If it was any son of mine that had done this then I would have disowned him.’

Detective Inspector Christopher Parry said: ‘This was a planned and targeted burglary, which has left a vulnerable elderly woman with a nasty facial injury, and feeling extremely shocked and upset.

‘Police would like to recognise her courage in confronting and trying to stop the burglar during such a frightening experience.

‘I am appealing specifically for residents to check their gardens and bins for any discarded property, particularly a knife, any parts of a cash till, or a white sequin bag.’

The suspect is described as white, skinny and about 5ft 6ins tall.

He was wearing dark clothes and a balaclava.

Anyone with information should contact Fratton Police Station on 101.