Fears for Stanley attack victim

THE niece of a retired GP brutally attacked and robbed in his own home spoke last night of her fears that he may never recover from the ordeal.

Dr Benson
Dr Benson

THE niece of a retired GP brutally attacked and robbed in his own home spoke last night of her fears that he may never recover from the ordeal.

Jane Inness was tidying the imposing stone-built home on the outskirts of Stanley, County Durham, where her uncle, Dr William Benson, was robbed on Thursday night.

Police said three men broke in and punched the bedridden 92-year-old repeatedly in the face.

They ransacked his house before leaving and the former GP, consultant psychiatrist and police surgeon was unable to raise the alarm. He was discovered by his carers on Friday morning. Police have not been able to say what was taken from the house.

Last night Mrs Inness said: “I fear what effect this will have on my Uncle Billy.

“The adrenalin may have helped when he was being attacked and robbed, but the effect of what happened will be sinking in still.

“You don’t recover so quickly when you are old.”

Mrs Inness said her uncle had lived in the house, Causey Lodge, all his life.

He is being cared for in a private residential home after being allowed to leave hospital.

Mrs Inness described her uncle as “an intensely private man, a bachelor, who devoted his life to helping the community and to his work.”

She added: “I have known many times when he went without sleep because he was on call. Long before the days of mobile phones and large practices he would be up all night attending patients, then return to the house for some breakfast before going into surgery, followed by house calls.

“He does not deserve what happened to him.

“The people responsible are not real men. They are cowards, bullies and psychopaths.

“My uncle Billy was defenceless. He had one leg amputated a few years ago and the other is useless. He needs the carers to help him get out of bed.

“He gets frustrated because of his infirmity, his old age, which is natural, but I fear the effect this will have on him.”

Mrs Inness said her uncle practised as a GP in Stanley for some 50 years, taking over from his father, also William.

“He contracted polio as a child, which hindered his movement somewhat, but he was a keen yachtsman and I believe he once had a yacht at the Royal Yacht Club in Blyth.

“But for several years now he rarely left the house due to his ill health.

“I can only appeal to the better nature of anybody who suspects they may know those responsible to shop them.

“If they are capable of doing what they did to my uncle Billy they are capable of taking somebody’s life.

“Man’s inhumanity to their fellow man is sometimes hard to take in.”

Anybody with information should contact Stanley CID on 0345 60 60 365 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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