Woman, 82, strangled with own dog lead in brutal attack

An elderly woman who was strangled with her own dog lead during an unprovoked attack in the hallway of her home has been left with serious injuries.

Catherine Smith, 82, was brutally assaulted in her home on Lydhurst Avenue, Lambeth at around 1pm on Thursday, 27 July, shortly after arriving home from walking her dog, police said.

Detective Constable Vicky Vincent, the investigating officer from Lambeth CID, described the incident as "a vicious unprovoked attack on an elderly vulnerable woman’s own doorstep."

Police are now appealing for information and witnesses following the attack.

Ms Smith reportedly first encountered her attacker - a slim black woman, about 5ft 5ins tall, with slick backed black hair - while she was out on her mobility scooter walking her dog in the Palace Road Nature Gardens.

On returning home Ms Smith saw the same woman sitting on a wall outside her home.

The woman, who was dressed in a khaki coloured zipped coat, multi-coloured trainers and tights, kept asking Ms Smith “where’s Tracey?” and repeatedly asked for money.

The 82-year-old told the woman that she did not know a Tracey, went inside her home and shut the door.

Shortly after Ms Smith entered her property the suspect rang the doorbell and asked to come in and use the toilet, a request that was denied, before aggressively pushing open the door and forcing her way in.

Ms Smith fell backwards and hit her head during the confrontation and then there was a struggle between the two women before the suspect grabbed the victim’s dog lead, wrapped it round her neck and started to strangle her.

The female attacker is said to have then run off in an unknown direction, leaving Ms Smith injured and calling out for help.

Members of the public who rushed to the 82-year-old's aid, saw her covered in blood and called the police.

Anyone with information or any witnesses is asked to contact Lambeth CID on 07785 774447, 101 or Tweet @MetCC.

Information can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org .

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