Published: 15:00, 09 May 2016 |
Updated: 16:26, 09 May 2016
Detectives are continuing their hunt for an armed gang who poured boiling water over a couple in their 60s during a terrifying burglary.
The husband and wife were watching television in their home in Halstead, near Sevenoaks, when three men kicked down the front door.
The gang, armed with knives, tied the pair up and threatened to kill them unless they handed over cash.
They then viciously assaulted the couple, married for 40 years, and even threatened to cut off the man's ear.
In an act of pure brutality they poured a full kettle of boiling water over the victims' heads, leaving them with life-changing burns.
The woman, aged 64, is now fighting for her life.
The men, who smashed all phones in the house so the couple could not call for help, also threatened to kill their grandchildren.
They broke into the property shortly after 9pm on Tuesday, April 26 and left with a quantity of cash two hours later.
Despite his injuries, the husband managed to untie himself 20 minutes later and raised the alarm at a nearby property.
The 66-year-old businessman suffered burns to 10% of his body.
His wife is now in a specialist London hospital after suffering 20-30% burns. She underwent surgery but has suffered complications.
The pair, who have three children and several grandchildren, are expected to remain in hospital for a number of weeks.
They have asked not to be identified to protect other family members.
The man's 68-year-old brother said: "I am absolutely shocked by the whole thing. I couldn't believe a woman in particular would be subjected to that in her own home.
"It is outrageous - I just cannot comprehend it. I was completely astonished when I saw them. They are having to have their dressings changed every day.
"It was just shocking to see the extent of their injuries. Their ordeal went on for a long time - it is beyond what you can imagine.
"It got to the stage where they said to them that they were going to kill one of them and they didn't mind which one.
"My sister-in-law is in a very poor state. She was badly burnt on her face. She is in and out of consciousness. They are just ordinary family people. Why would anyone want to do anything like this?
"There must be a local connection because the men knew things. They threatened other family members. "
"Their ordeal went on for a long time - it is beyond what you can imagine" - victim's brother
Kent Police have refused to say exactly how much cash was stolen.
Det Sgt Simon Harrold of Kent Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit said: "The victims of this crime have been subjected to a horrendous ordeal.
"Both husband and wife have suffered some severe burns and possibly been left with life changing injuries.
"I can only imagine the trauma and shock they have suffered. Generally, Halstead is an area which is very safe to live in and we are treating this as an isolated incident.
"But, I would urge anyone who has any information to get in touch as soon as possible."
Police say one of the men was black, around 5ft 10ins tall. The other two were both white. They all wore dark clothing.
Anyone with information should call 01622 604100 quoting reference YY/8810/16.
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