Pregnant woman relives machete raid ordeal
Tuesday 10 April 2012
A pregnant woman has described how she was left "terrified" by machete-wielding burglars who tied her to a chair after threatening her three-year-old son.
Victoria Ratheram told ITV1's Daybreak programme she was only freed when a neighbour called at her cottage following the raid in Wollerton, near Market Drayton, Shropshire, last Thursday.
The 28-year-old, who is just weeks from giving birth, said she had tried to remain calm after being threatened by three men who tied her up as they searched for a safe.
Speaking from her home, Mrs Ratheram told Daybreak she was confronted by the raiders after going to her front door when her dog started barking.
"They just came in," she said. "One with a machete and one with an old-style wooden police truncheon. They threatened my dogs and threatened me and my son and told us to do as we were told.
"They asked for a safe and I was tied up in the hall as they ransacked the house and searched.
"Then I was moved into the nursery when they didn't find a safe, and tied to a chair with my dog in the room and my son.
"They closed the door and left me there - I was there for quite a while and my dog tried to chew through my ties and I was freed when a neighbour came round and luckily opened the door and saw I was there and helped cut me free."
Reliving her ordeal, Mrs Ratheram also told how the raiders had informed her son that what was happening was "a game" so he would not be scared.
Asked if she had feared for her life, Mrs Ratheram replied: "I was absolutely terrified - the only thing I can say is I suppose you go into a mothering instinct - you go completely numb and the only thing that matters is your children.
"As far as I was concerned I needed to stay calm... relaxed so that I didn't give off any bad vibes to my son and didn't put myself under any additional stress than I was already under."
The burglary took place on the same day as another in the same village, police said.
The occupants of both premises were assaulted but were not thought to have been seriously injured.
A man and a woman were taken to hospital from one address for treatment to cuts and bruises.
Mrs Ratheram was not injured in the attack on her home.
Detective Inspector Pete Brophy said: "This is a serious incident in which violence was used.
"I am appealing for any information which might assist the investigation.
"In particular we want to hear from anyone who spotted suspicious activity in or around Wollerton... involving three or more men."
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