A PENSIONER who was grabbed and thrown on to her bed while her home was burgled has spoken about her midnight terror.
Beryl Brown was fast asleep at her Leigh Park home when she heard an intruder rifling through her belongings downstairs.
She walked into her hallway to confirm her suspicions.
Mrs Brown, 75 of Furzedown Crescent, told The News of her harrowing experience.
‘I didn’t know whether I was dreaming. Of course, I wasn’t – and I heard more noise.
‘I leant over the top of my stairs and the kitchen light was on.
‘They must’ve come through my bathroom window.’
Mrs Brown shouted to try to scare off the intruder.
What happened next, she says, was terrifying.
‘He came straight up the stairs, grabbed my shoulders and forced me back on to my bed. He then started opening all the drawers.
‘I grabbed my house phone to try and call 999 and then, all of a sudden, he hit me really hard on my left shoulder.
‘I started screaming and it woke my neighbours up.
‘By the time I got up he had legged it.’
Though she was physically hurt by the burglar, it’s what was stolen that affected Beryl most.
The thief made off with her prized earring collection – comprising, among others – amethyst, gold, silver, opal, citrine and moonstone pieces.
‘When I came downstairs and found out what he took I was lost for words.
‘I am so devastated. I can’t even put a price on how much that was worth.
‘I was tackling him but if I knew he had my box of earrings I would’ve fought harder.’
Mrs Brown says the experience has left a mark.
‘I’ll never get over this. I’m a strong person normally but this has really shaken me up.
‘You don’t realise what burglars do to people’s lives.
‘People say you should’ve done this and that, but it’s easy to say until you’re in that position.
‘When you’re trying to defend yourself against this person, your mind just goes other places.
‘Because of when I screamed, I lost my voice for two days.
‘My neighbours said they had never heard anything like it.’
Mrs Brown reported the burglary to police soon after it occurred at about midnight on Wednesday, June 21.
A spokesperson for Hampshire Police said a 44-year-old man, a 38-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman were arrested.
While all three have been released from custody, they remain under police investigation.
Mrs Brown – a former employee at BAE Systems, having retired 10 years ago – was hit by the burglary less than a month after she turned 75.
Rather than asking for presents for her birthday, she asked for money instead.
Having appeared in The News on Friday, June 2, she garnered £600 at her party and donated the entire sum to The Rowans Hospice.
She later went on to present the cheque at the Leigh Park Trade Union and Working Men’s Club.
Mrs Brown was thanked by Anne Powell, a trustee at the Purbrook hospice for her gift.
Anyone who saw the incident or has any information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting 44170235574 as the crime reference number.