Kawerau assault: police seek information

Someone in Kawerau holds the key to catching the man who viciously bashed an elderly woman in her home, say police.

Detective Sergeant Ant Hay of the Whakatane CIB said inquiries were continuing into the assault of the 71-year-old woman at her River Rd home in the early hours of Saturday December 29. He said as of yesterday no arrests had been made.

Mr Hay said while investigators were keeping an open mind, the characteristics of what took place indicated the offender knew the Kawerau township well and was likely to be known within the town.

He said someone within the community will know this offender, who may have arrived home or sought assistance from associates in the early hours of the morning of December 29. He would have been wet and possibly agitated from running.

"Offenders of such cowardly and callous attacks on the elderly do not deserve any protection and I encourage the members of this community to contact police and report any information no matter how unimportant it may seem,'' he said.

The victim, who is well known to many in the Kawerau community, was waiting on the arrival of a family member from overseas when she opened her door to a man at 1am. The door was pushed open and she was punched at least twice in the face before the offender demanded money then grabbed her car keys and left the address at speed. She suffered a broken cheekbone and possible broken nose and is continuing to recover.

If you have any information contact the Kawerau police on (07) 323 1400 or the Whakatane police on (07) 308 5255. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via the free Crimestoppers phone line on 0800 111 555.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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