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Grandmother's life ruined by raid

PUBLISHED: 03:27 24 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:14 03 March 2010

"WHAT right do they have to break in to my home and steal the little I have?"

Weeks after a grandmother of five returned to her east Ipswich home to find it ransacked, the fear of being within her own four walls is as strong as it was on that day.

"WHAT right do they have to break in to my home and steal the little I have?"

Weeks after a grandmother of five returned to her east Ipswich home to find it ransacked, the fear of being within her own four walls is as strong as it was on that day.

The only difference now is that fear and terror has been joined by anger, a frustrated anger for the culprits that violated her property, her space, her life.

She feels she may never come to terms with the intrusion in to her privacy. Moving elsewhere to put down new roots could be the only way she will cope with the incident.

"I hope the person or persons responsible are proud of themselves. It's diabolical and at this moment I can't see that I will ever get over it," she said.

Being burgled is not just about the property that is either ruined or stolen, it is about destroying the secure environment of our own homes.

This plucky pensioner wanted to tell The Evening Star about her continuing distress but asked to remain anonymous.

Her feelings on discovering the burglary, which happened before Christmas, are as clear today as they were then.

She cannot sleep at night and is terrified every time she walks through her front door.

"Those who do this sort of thing don't realise the affect their actions have on people.

"Burglars don't just steal your possessions they violate your privacy and personal security.

"Every time I go out I am frightened what I will find on my return. Opening the front door is a real test, as I feel scared as to what I may be faced with.

"My personal safety feels threatened and I feel a nervous wreck," she said.

The incident has not only shattered her confidence but her health has also suffered as a result.

"I've been in quite a state. I lost over seven pounds in weight in the first fortnight through sheer worry and fear. I feel I am re-living the nightmare everyday and I can't see the horror ever going away."

More than £500 in cash was stolen and the Christmas presents she had brought for her grandchildren were ripped open.

She recalled: "As I opened the door I knew something wasn't right as every door in the house as open.

"My heart sank and I was petrified.

"I peeped through the bedroom door and the room had been turned upside down.

"The fear and shock set in and my feet became rooted to the spot. I couldn't move and my body was rigid. I was terrified."

To try and come to terms with the break-in that has shattered her confidence the grandmother has been receiving counselling from victim support.

"I just want to rebuild my life and get back to doing the normal things without worrying about what might happen.

"I would recommend anybody who is a victim of crime to get in touch with victim support as they have been a tower of strength," she said.

She admits she feels uncomfortable in the house knowing that a stranger has been through all her personal belongings.

"Perhaps I would feel better if somebody was actually caught but unfortunately I can't see that happening.

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