Victim of violent serial burglar feared death

The terrified victim of a violent burglar being hunted by police has described how she feared she was going to be raped and killed.

Susan Morris, 61, was alone in her home when she was confronted by a masked man pointing a sawn-off shotgun at her.

Detectives are appealing for help in catching the suspect they say has traumatised victims during a string of burglaries at luxury homes across southeast England.

They believe he might be a former soldier or policeman and could seriously injure or kill his next victim.

Mrs Morris said: “I just heard this very loud voice behind me shout ‘I want the jewellery. Show me the safe,’ and he came towards me with a shotgun.”

She was terrified as the powerfully-built man, wearing a balaclava and gloves, grabbed her arm and forced her upstairs.

SUSAN MORRIS INJURY

Image: Mrs Morris suffered a broken jaw

“He was gripping me hard all the time, everywhere including my breasts. We got to the dressing room and I opened the safe.

“I gave him the jewellery, but he said he wanted more. He was angry and hitting me all over the place, just hard enough to hurt a lot without knocking me out.”

Mrs Morris suffered a broken jaw and lost a tooth during the attack which left her heavily bruised.

“He got me to touch the shotgun to show me it was real and not plastic. Then he told me to lie down and that’s when I thought he was going to rape me.

“He dragged me across the floor by my hair and then things got even worse. He pointed the shotgun at my head and I really thought ‘This is it. He’s going to kill me’.”

Her husband Stephen, a businessman, arrived back shortly after the gunman fled their home in Kingswood, Surrey.

The suspect is thought to have stolen more than a million pounds worth of jewellery, watches and cash from wealthy victims since 2014.

Among his victims were the Earl and Countess of March, attacked, robbed and tied up at their historic Goodwood Home in the Sussex Downs.

Their stolen heirlooms included a £400,000 tiara and an emerald ring that King Charles II gave to his mistress.

HOME COUNTIES RAIDS MORRIS

Image: The violent burglaries have targeted homes in southeast England

Detectives believe the burglar stakes out his target homes for days before seizing an opportunity to get in through an unlocked door.

His planning, calmness, use of violence and ability to escape leaving few clues, suggests he could be a former serviceman or police officer.

Detective Inspector Dee Fielding, of Surrey Police, said: “There must be a member of the public out there who will know somebody who could fit this profile – someone who is confident enough, who has special skills, potentially ex-military or law enforcement, someone able to use violence on their own to tie up a number of people while committing offences.

“We are worried the violence could escalate and a victim could get really badly hurt or worse.”

The man is described as white, six-feet tall, stocky and muscular and he speaks with a Southern English accent.

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He is suspected of two burglaries in Kingswood, and others in Maidenhead, Chichester, Sevenoaks, Maidstone and Virginia Water, the last in October last year.

Anyone with information is urged to call 101 and ask for Surrey Police, Operation Prometheus, or email [email protected] Anonymous calls can be made to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.