Masked men attack pensioner, 72, in own home

Defiant despite being overpowered by the thugs - Jimmy Winstanley
Defiant despite being overpowered by the thugs - Jimmy Winstanley

A WIGAN pensioner has told of his horror after being assaulted in his home by masked intruders.

Jimmy Winstanley had money and his mobile phone stolen by three men after they forced their way into his home on Levens Walk, Norley Hall.

The plucky 72-year-old was forced to the floor after he answered his front door at around 8.25pm on Sunday March 20.

Mr Winstanley, a widower who lost his wife, Lilian, to cancer two years ago, said that he felt helpless as the three men ransacked his house while one man pinned him to the floor covering his face, so he could not breathe.

He said: “I was expecting a friend round and when the doorbell went I just answered it as normal. Next thing I knew I was on the ground. If I’d been a bit younger, I’d have put up more of a fight, but there were three of them.

“It’s heartbreaking when they are going through your possessions, they even opened the urn containing Lilian’s ashes looking for money.

“They ripped up my carpets and had all my cupboards and drawers out. I hope they catch them and they should bring back national service, like I did. That would teach them some respect.”

The former engineer also warned other residents to be vigilant. He said: “You should always look before you open your front door, I know I will in future.”

Police are now appealing for information after the three men, who were all dressed in dark clothing and covered their faces fled with cash and Jimmy’s mobile phone.

DC Suzanne Rigby said: “We do not know why these men would sink so low as to target a 72-year-old man living alone, and then subject him to such an ordeal just to get their hands on some money, but they are clearly men we need to identify, find and lock up.

“While it may be distressing for members of the community to hear about such an awful crime, it is right we should warn them what happened so they can both take precautions to keep their homes secure, and also help us solve this robbery.

“If you think you know anything, or perhaps witnessed these men going into the house or leaving it, or perhaps you saw three men hanging around the area who looked out of place, then we need to hear from you.

“Criminals like this cannot be allowed to walk our streets, and I want to assure people we will do everything we can to find them. If anyone can help us do that, it is vital we speak to you.”

Anyone with information should call Wigan CID on 0161 856 5307 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.