A grandmother who was tortured inside her own home by a pair of masked burglars has described the terrifying ordeal as "sheer hell".
Francoise Jansen, 73, said she thought she was going to die at the hands of the criminals who doused her in boiling water and threatened to cut her fingers off as they held her captive for several hours.
The elderly widow was alone inside her home on a private estate in St George's Hill, Weybridge, Surrey, when the raiders forced their way into the six-bedroom property at around 10.50pm last Friday.
Mrs Jansen was forced to open a safe before the men, dressed in black clothes and balaclavas, helped themselves to a haul of expensive jewellery and personal items worth a reported £150,000.
The pensioner said she attempted to press a panic button installed in her bedroom, prompting the burglars to boil a kettle and pour scalding water over her arm as punishment.
She was also gagged, water-boarded and tied to a radiator during the serious assault that left her with multiple injuries.
Describing the horrific experience, she told The Daily Mail: "They asked me if I had any grandchildren, I told them I had 10 and they said, 'We are going to kill you, do you think your grandchildren will miss you?'.
"I was consumed by fear. It was sheer hell and all I can remember is praying."
Mrs Jansen was ordered to open a second safe but was unable to perform the combination.
As a result, the burglars tied her hands behind her back and made her lie in her bath where a water-drenched towel was wrapped around her face a number of times to simulate drowning.
Mrs Jansen continued: "Then they tied me to the towel rail with cable they had ripped from a nearby radio, they cut off my trousers and T-shirt with scissors.
"I was trembling because I thought they were going to rape me and I just kept praying.
"I was semi-conscious but eventually I realised they were gone and I had to bite myself out of the wires to get free."
The pensioner managed to raise the alarm but police were unable to locate the men - who are believed to have escaped and headed towards Brooklands Road on foot - following a search of the area.
Surrey Police have appealed for witnesses or anyone with information about the incident to come forward.
Detective Inspector Jake Nuttall, who is leading the investigation, said: "This was an appalling, unprovoked attack on a defenceless, elderly woman in her own home and Surrey Police is carrying out a thorough and extensive investigation to bring these cowardly offenders to justice.
"The victim sustained injuries to her wrists, arms and shoulders during the attack but fortunately she is expected to make a full recovery. She has understandably been left deeply upset by this horrendous ordeal.
"This type of senseless violence will not be tolerated and I would urge anyone who may have seen or heard anything out of the ordinary in St George's Hill late on Friday night into the early hours of Saturday morning to call police as a matter of urgency."
:: Anyone who witnessed the burglary or has any information should call Surrey Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.Reuse content