Detectives in Lambeth investigating the brutal assault of an elderly woman on her own doorstep continue to appeal for information as Crimestoppers announce a reward is available.
The reward of up to £5,000 is being offered by the independent charity Crimestoppers for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the robbery.
To give information and qualify for the reward (which is valid for three months), Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111 or crimestoppers-uk.org. People must provide information to Crimestoppers rather than police to qualify for the reward.
On Thursday, 27 July Catherine Smith, 82, was out in her mobility scooter walking her dog in Palace Road Nature Gardens, SW2, which is where she first saw the suspect.
Catherine then left the gardens and headed home to Lydhurst Avenue, SW2, arriving back at about 13:00hrs.
The suspect was sitting on a wall outside her property. She approached Catherine and said "where's Tracey" before repeatedly asking for money. Catherine said she did not know a Tracey. The suspect then asked Catherine if she could use her toilet, and Catherine said no. As she tried to close the door to her home, the suspect forced the door open causing Catherine to fall backwards and hit her head.
There was a struggle and the suspect proceeded to punch Catherine numerous times. The suspect then grabbed the victim's dog lead, wrapped it round her neck and started to strangle her before making off in an unknown direction.
Catherine called for help and witnesses rushed to her aid, saw her covered in blood and called the police.
Catherine was taken to a west London hospital with serious injuries. She has since been discharged.
The suspect is described as a black female, about 5ft 5ins, of slim build, with slick-backed black hair. She was wearing a khaki coloured coat with a zip, multi-coloured trainers and tights.
DC Vicky Vincent, the investigating officer from Lambeth CID, said: "This was a vicious unprovoked attack on an elderly vulnerable woman. The attack has left her very distressed.
"We believe the suspect spotted Catherine in Palace Road Nature Gardens and for unknown reasons decided to follow her home, harass her and then brutally assault her.
"We are still appealing for anyone with information or any witnesses to contact us as a matter of urgency so we can bring the person responsible for this heinous crime to justice."
To pass on information completely anonymously or to qualify for the reward, contact the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
Alternatively, anyone with information or any witnesses can also contact Lambeth CID on 07785774447, 101 or Tweet @MetCC.