1. ITV Report

Greater Manchester Police renew appeal three years after 'brutal attack' on great-grandmother

Eileen Blane was attacked in her home three years ago. Credit: MEN Media

An intruder whose attack on a great-grandmother in her own home eventually killed her remains at large three years on from the assault.

Eileen Blane, 87, was beaten to the ground and dragged across the floor of her home in Stretford, Greater Manchester before the intruder snatched a wedding ring from her finger.

The culprit fled with the ring and just £30 in cash.

The great-grandmother died from her injuries eight weeks later, on April 1, 2017.

To mark the anniversary, Eileen's family will exchange texts to remember her, unable to meet up because of the national coronavirus lockdown.

Her son, John, has spoken of the family's continuing ordeal and, backed by detectives, has now made a fresh appeal for information to try and get justice for Eileen's death.

Eileen with her family Credit: MEN Media

The pensioner was taken to hospital with two broken ribs and a broken vertebrae as well as severe bruising to her face after the attacker broke into her home.

She spent the next eight weeks in hospital but, the day after she was discharged, she was found collapsed at her home by her son David Blane.

In an interview with police a few weeks before her death, Eileen described what happened: "He started chucking me about. He just kept hitting me.

“I asked him to stop but he wouldn’t.

“He said he wanted gold all the time. It was just a nightmare.

“He said we wouldn’t get out, he said he would make sure we didn’t.”

She described her attacker as white, in his 20s, about 5ft 8ins tall and slim. He was wearing a dark coloured jacket with the hood covering his face.

A pathologist linked her subsequent death to the injuries she had suffered during the attack and a murder investigation was launched.

An investigation found that Eileen died from the injuries sustained in the attack. Credit: MEN Media

Detective Inspector Ben Cottam, of GMP’s Major Incident Team, said: "Three years on, our officers continue to actively investigate this appalling crime.

"We remain committed to finding the person responsible for the cowardly and brutal attack that cost Eileen her life.

"This was a crime that shocked the local community and the officers dealing with it.

He added: "On the anniversary of Eileen’s death, I’d like to again appeal to anyone with information who may be able to assist our investigations.

"I have said before that we believe there are people out there who know the identity of Eileen’s Killer, but they have yet to make contact with police.

"We would urge them to make contact, and remind them that a life-changing reward of £50,000 still stands for anyone with information that leads to the successful conviction of the person or persons responsible for Eileen’s death.

"Our thoughts remain with her family on the third anniversary of her death. We remain determined to give them the answers they deserve."

Anyone with information is asked to call GMP on 101 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.