20/05/2007 20:40 - (SA)
Benoni - An elderly East Rand man has developed gangrene in his hands after lying tied up in his home for 40 hours while attackers ransacked it twice.
His wife died on her bed during the "barbaric house assault" by the three men last Tuesday.
The men pounced on Ted Broome, 81, while he was watering his plants and filling the birdbath in his garden in Atlasville, Benoni, said his son John Broome. They forced him into his house, and began attacking him and his wife Norma.
Broome said the men tied his parents' hands behind their backs, before kicking and punching them.
The attackers left them tied up after ransacking their home.
Dave Protter, the general manager of CMS Response and Rescue, said the attackers returned on Wednesday night and continued the attack on the couple, without untying their hands.
Norma Broome died during the extended attack, while her husband's shoulder was dislocated and he sustained multiple fractures.
Robbers wanted money and firearms
John Broome said the neat home that his parents had lived in for 30 years was trashed, but the robbers made off with no more than "a few pieces of antique jewellery and a cellphone".
John heard from his traumatised father that the men demanded "money and firearms".
The attack was only discovered when the neighbours delivered a newspaper at their home the following morning, as usual, and saw the previous day's paper lying untouched in front of the door.
The neighbour, who did not want to be named, said the back door was wide open, and Broome was lying in his passage with his hands tied tightly behind his back. "His hands were swollen to three times their normal size," she said.
Norma lay on the bed in the couple's bedroom. "I could see she had already died. She was ice cold."