'Phenomenal' Crimewatch response over iron torture case

A BBC Crimewatch appeal over burglars who tortured a man got a "phenomenal" response, Essex Police said.

A couple in their 60s were tied up by two men at a house in Woodman Lane, Sewardstonebury, near Chingford, in the early hours of 1 August.

The burglars used an iron to burn the man's back to try to get him to open a safe which did not exist.

Detectives said they received almost 80 calls after the appeal featured on the programme on 8 September.

Appeal to caller

Investigating officer Det Con Lee Pudney said: "It was a phenomenal response and we are grateful to all the people who called us.

"But we would especially like to hear from one man who wanted to speak to me personally.

"Unfortunately he rang off before the call could be put through to me."

The couple were tied up before the thieves stole jewellery, including rings, necklaces and watches.

'Terrifying ordeal'

Following the attack the male victim was taken to Whipps Cross Hospital by ambulance and later transferred to the specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford.

Police said no vehicle was heard or seen before or after the attack and the two robbers wore balaclavas and gloves.

A £10,000 reward has been offered in connection with the inquiry and if any of the stolen items are recovered a reward of 10% of their value will be given.

Mr Pudney added: "I urge anyone who has any information about who is responsible for inflicting these dreadful injuries and putting the couple through a terrifying ordeal to contact detectives."

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