POLICE have arrested a man after a 73-year-old woman was savagely tortured at her home in Weybridge.
The 31-year-old Brookwood resident was taken into custody on Tuesday, August 7 with inquiries ongoing.
Grandmother of 10 Francoise Jansen was restrained by intruders at her £7m home in St George’s Hill on Friday, August 3 and, with her head covered by a towel, was doused with water to simulate the feel of drowning.
Raiders also poured boiling water down her back after bursting into the property as Mrs Jansen watched the Olympics.This was an appalling unprovoked attack on a defenceless elderly woman in her own home
The gang turned the mansion inside out in search of jewellery.
And when Mrs Jansen refused to open a safe, scolding water was poured over her shoulders and arms in an ordeal that lasted several hours.
Mrs Jansen, who was tied to a radiator as thieves left the scene, told investigators that she had to chew through her bindings in order to escape and call for help.
Reliving the nightmare incident, she said: “There was a leader and a follower. The one by the bed was holding my head down, then he seemed to lose grip a bit.
“I tried to push the button, the panic button and he started using foul language. He seemed to shout to the leader.
“The leader came up and said aloud ‘we are going to burn you with boiling water’.
“He went to get a Chinese vase that was on the dresser, filled it with hot water and it broke.
“The leader said ‘go and boil the kettle’. He boiled the kettle and poured it over my arm.”
Officers combed her home and the surrounding area for evidence but could find no trace of the men.
A police spokesman said: “They kept her tied up for several hours and poured water onto her shoulders.
“They were trying to gain access to the safe. They were not able to do that but it was an horrific ordeal for her.”
He said that the victim had suffered bruising and burn injuries to her arms and shoulders.
Detective inspector Jake Nuttall said: “This was an appalling unprovoked attack on a defenceless elderly woman in her own home and Surrey Police is carrying out a thorough and extensive investigation to bring these cowardly offenders to justice.
“The victim sustained injuries to her wrists, arms and shoulders during the attack but fortunately she is expected to make a full recovery.
“She has understandably been left deeply upset by this horrendous ordeal.”
Anyone who witnessed the burglary or with any information should call Surrey Police on 101, quoting reference EL/12/5053, or call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.