DETECTIVES investigating a terrifying raid at the home of nightclub boss Sheila Quadrini have arrested three people.
The men, all from County Durham, have been questioned about the attack at the grandmother’s Newcastle home, in which she was tied up and doused with petrol.
Sheila was pounced on by three raiders five weeks ago as she returned to her luxury Gosforth property after work.
One of the masked men bundled her inside, tied her up and poured fuel over her while his accomplices ransacked her home, stealing money and valuables.
The three men, aged 36, 43 and 60, have now been held by officers from Northumbria Police’s Major Crime Team. They have all since been released on bail.
Det Insp Steve Wouldhave, who is leading the investigation, said: “We have made three arrests in connection with the incident but inquiries into the burglary continue.
“We still need anyone with any information, anyone that could have seen something suspicious on the night it happened or maybe heard something about it since, to come forward and share it with police as soon as possible.
“This was a terrible ordeal for the victim who has understandably been left incredibly shaken and distressed, and we are doing all we can to put those responsible before the courts.”
Sheila, who is the former wife of nightclub tycoon Michael Quadrini, was held hostage for more than an hour after the gang pounced at around 6.30pm on December 6.
She was in the process of disabling her burglar alarm when she felt a gloved hand cover her mouth from behind.
She was then pushed into her lounge where one man tied her up, poured petrol on her and demanded a lighter, while his two accomplices ransacked the house.
The attackers eventually fled, leaving Sheila tied up and terrified in her house on Furzefield Road.
She managed to free herself by struggling out of her Ugg boots which were bound with rope, and with her hands still tied, she made it to an upstairs phone and dialled 999 with her tongue.
She said: “It felt like it went on forever.
“When someone is constantly throwing petrol over you and asking you where the lighter is, you think you’re going to be killed.
“They were in the house a long time, but it felt like forever. I do feel lucky to be alive.
“They kept asking me: ‘Do you smoke?’ At the time I thought it was a stupid question, but they must have been looking for a lighter.”
She is now determined to get on with her life and has since returned home.
Sheila’s ex-husband Michael made a name for himself on the club scene in the 1980s when he opened the Tuxedo Princess, the famous floating nightclub on the River Tyne.
The Quadrinis, who have one son, divorced in 1985, but Sheila remained involved with the business.
Anyone with information should call Northumbria Police on 101.