Couple tell of terrifying kidnap ordeal

Pensioner Ron Roberts was kidnapped with his wife Margaret from their home in Lowton, by a robber demanding money
Pensioner Ron Roberts was kidnapped with his wife Margaret from their home in Lowton, by a robber demanding money

A couple has told how they feared for their lives as they were erratically driven to a cash machine after being kidnapped.

Ron and Margaret Roberts were threatened with a pistol and knife at their home in Lowton before being taken to the ATM to withdraw £300.

The offender then dropped them off at home and made off with the couple’s Land Rover, later crashing it on the East Lancs Road and fleeing the scene.

Although Mr and Mrs Roberts, of Stone Cross Lane North, have refused to let the incident in the early hours of Thursday March 16 affect them they admitted it could easily have been a lot worse.

Mr Roberts, 78, said: “I spent 30 years in Nigeria and you expect this sort of thing to happen there but not in Lowton.

“It was a pretty bad experience and could have been nasty. I have a few licenced shotguns hidden in the house and if he had found those it would have been very serious.

“The temptation would be to tackle him but I’ve recently had a hip operation so I didn’t even think about it. That’s a blessing in disguise.

“I wouldn’t mind but we’ve always had a German Shepherd dog since we got married but ours died last year and we never got round to replacing her. He wouldn’t have got an inch across the threshold had she been alive, she would have had him for breakfast.

“We had stayed up late to watch a TV programme and he came through the front door and got upstairs.

“I went to bed and saw the drawers had been emptied but didn’t think for a minute it was a burglar. I shouted downstairs to Margaret and this guy comes out of the bedroom with a gun in one hand and a knife in the other.”

The couple were bundled into their car and taken into Golborne to get cash, having already handed over £100 which was in the house.

Margaret, 75, was jostled into the back with lots of bags as they had put the rear seats down to run errands.

She said: “In the car I did think it was going to be my end. His driving was so erratic I didn’t think we would get where we were going in one piece. Ron pulled on the handbrake at one point.

“It’s happened now and you have to deal with it. I worked as a nurse so I was used to dealing with incidents. I can’t help laughing at the whole thing now.”

As well as the cash the offender took a camera, a couple of knives which Ron was given as gifts during his work in the oil industry and a wristwatch.

The couple’s Freelander was also wrecked when the car hit a roundabout and flipped over during the offender’s high-speed getaway.

During the tense moments in the house the intruder told Ron he wanted money and also told the couple he needed to buy flowers for his dying daughter during their ordeal.

The couple also praised the police for arriving at the house quickly.