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Couple's 'terrifying' ordeal

PUBLISHED: 10:11 01 February 2008 | UPDATED: 19:35 05 July 2010

Caroline and Peter Rowen who were attacked by raiders.

Caroline and Peter Rowen who were attacked by raiders.

A great-grandmother last night told how she and her husband were subjected to a terrifying attack by raiders who burst into their seafront flat in Lowestoft, before fleeing with £500.

A great-grandmother last night told how she and her husband were subjected to a terrifying attack by raiders who burst into their seafront flat in Lowestoft, before fleeing with £500.

Caroline Rowen was grabbed around the neck by one of the two masked raiders, who then forced her into the lounge where her husband Peter, a stroke victim, was also attacked.

Mrs Rowen, 59, said the couple's terrifying ordeal unfolded after she went to the back door of the property, in Marine Parade, thinking that she had heard her cats outside.

She said: “The guy grabbed me around the throat. I was frightened, but more for my husband than myself because he has suffered a stroke and can't move very fast.

“My husband was sitting on the sofa and the other man grabbed him around his neck. He struggled with my husband and got him on the floor.”

Mrs Rowen, who has three children, 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, screamed and one of the intruders put his hands around her throat and mouth.

The robbers stole £500 in cash from Mr Rowen's pocket and fled at about 7pm on Wednesday.

Mr Rowen suffered his stroke about four years ago and has trouble walking long distances and suffers from slurred speech. Despite his health problems, Mrs Rowen said he felt guilty about not putting up more of a fight.

“I thought Peter was hurt because he was on the floor. He was really shocked. He blames himself, but I told him he did all he could,” added Mrs Rowen.

“I just don't want to stay around here any more; I want out. People need to know that there are thugs like this about.”

The couple did not suffer serious injury, although Mrs Rowen said her neck had been left swollen.

The first robber was described as 5ft 11ins and was wearing dark clothing and a ski mask. His accomplice was 5ft 9ins and wore a grey hooded top, light coloured trousers and a scarf over his face.

Anyone with information should contact Lowestoft CID on 01986 835300.

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