In the Media

Grandmother, 73, waterboarded after home raided as she watched Olympics

PUBLISHED August 7, 2012

Francoise Jansen, 73, was subjected to the torture in which a towel was held over her head to simulate drowning.

She also had boiling water poured down her back after the men burst into her living room as she watched the Olympics.

They had ransacked the property searching for jewellery and tied her up at the gated mock Tudor mansion in Weybridge, Surrey.

After the grandmother-of-ten refused to open a safe, a kettle was over her bare arms and shoulders during an ordeal lasting several hours.

At one point during the attack last Friday she had reached for a panic button hidden in her bedroom but again they punished her for trying to get help.

"There was a leader and a follower," she said. "The one by the bed was holding my head down then he seemed to lose grip a bit.

"I tried to push the button, the panic button and he started using foul language. He seemed to shout to the leader.

"The leader came up and said aloud 'we are going to burn you with boiling water'.

"He went to get a Chinese vase that was on the dresser, filled it with hot water and it broke.

"The leader said 'go and boil the kettle'. He boiled the kettle and poured it over my arm."

They had threatened to kill her if she did not comply and then tied her hands behind her back, bundling her into the bath.

Holding a towel over her head to simulate drowning they subjected her to water-boarding five times.

Mrs Jansen, who feared that she would die at the hands of her tormentors was then tied to a radiator as the men fled her home. She was only able to free herself after she chewed at the ties binding her hands, before calling the police.

Officers combed her home in St George's Hill, Weybridge, Surrey, and the surrounding area but could find no trace of the men.

A police spokesman said: "They kept her tied up for several hours and poured water onto her shoulders," said a police spokesman.

"They were trying to gain access to the safe. They were not able to do that but it was an horrific ordeal for her."

He said that the victim had suffered bruising and burn injuries to her arms and shoulders.

"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," said Detective inspector Jake Nuttall.

"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."