Crimewatch plea over attack on ex-GP William Benson

A RECONSTRUCTION of the vicious attack on a frail retired County Durham doctor will be featured on television’s Crimewatch tonight.

William Benson
William Benson

A RECONSTRUCTION of the vicious attack on a frail retired County Durham doctor will be featured on television’s Crimewatch tonight.

Three burglars forced their way into the home on the outskirts of Stanley of former GP William Benson, 92, just after midnight on October 17 last year.

They demanded money from the terrified pensioner, punched him around the head and threatened him with a large knife, before leaving him stranded in his bed lying injured and helpless for nine hours until a carer arrived and raised the alarm.

Dr Benson, who served the town for 50 years, was initially treated for his injuries at Durham’s University Hospital, before being transferred to an independent care home.

Det Insp Geoff Smith said despite the massive publicity the incident had attracted, the response from the public had been “disappointing”.

He said he hoped a high-profile appeal on Crimewatch would jog people’s memories about the brutality of the robbery.

“There is a code of conduct amongst criminals and very few go around attacking vulnerable people in a cowardly way like this,” he added.

The film includes a reconstruction of the night’s events, and also features new evidence previously undisclosed to the public. A team of detectives are travelling down to the Crimewatch studios and will be on hand to speak to anyone who rings in with information.

DI Smith added: “This was a horrendous attack on a defenceless, vulnerable man. But it’s possible not all those who went to the house that night knew what they were getting into.

“I think at least one of the trio may have believed they were simply there to carry out a burglary and never planned on being caught up in such violence.”

Anyone with information which they think could be useful to the investigators can call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Crimewatch is being screened at 9pm on BBC1.

 

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