Pensioner feared he would die during violent burglary on Isle of Sheppey

  • Arthur Chew describes what happened to ITV News Meridian reporter Kit Bradshaw

A Kent pensioner says he “thought he was going to die” when he was attacked in his own home by masked intruders.

Arthur Chew, 75, was watching TV in the front room of his bungalow in Minster on the Isle of Sheppey when the three masked men broke in at around 9.30pm on Saturday, 10 October.

Kent Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward. 

Arthur Chew was left battered and bruised after the incident.

Mr Chew told ITV News Meridian “it all happened so quickly”. 

“They burst in and knocked me to the floor.

"One kneeled on me while the other two ransacked the place… One kept coming back and giving me a slap.

"He was shouting ‘Where’s the money? Where’s the money?’”

The intruders got away with £600 in cash and left their victim with a badly bruised arm and a black eye.

He suffers from the lung disease COPD and remembers “gasping for breath” while he was pinned down. 

“I thought I was going to die… I just wanted it to be over, one way or another,” Mr Chew said. 

Local Swale councillors insist this type of crime remains rare in the area but some residents have concerns.

Sarahlouise Findlay, who cares for people on the same street, thinks the housing association should improve the lighting at the front of the properties to deter criminals. 

Ms Findlay said: “It’s very badly lit up this road and I attend three times a day, early morning when it’s pitch black.

"It’s not very safe for myself or anybody else around the area.

"People are scared along this road.”

Optivo, the housing association responsible, said in a statement: “The safety and security of our residents is our top priority.

"We were shocked to hear Mr Chew was attacked in this way and we’ve offered our support to ensure he can feel safe in his home.

"We’ve agreed to replace the front and back lights at [the property].”

 Detectives have identified two women, aged 51 and 39, who they suspect of being involved in planning the break-in. They were both arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary and have been released, pending further enquiries.