Burglar kills old lady with brick

Woman aged 93 was battered to death

PORT ELIZABETH - An elderly Walmer woman was found bludgeoned to death in her garden flat yesterday morning.

The gruesome discovery – her body face-down in a pool of blood on her bed – was made by her domestic shortly after 8am.

Ninety-three-year-old Marjory Uren had been battered to death with a cloth-covered brick – thought to have been used by her as a door stop.

The blood-soaked brick was found in her bedroom.

Although police suspect the murder may have been the result of a botched house robbery, there were no signs of forced entry and Uren’s TV and wallet were still inside the flat.

However, some of her jewellery appeared to have been taken.

The Prospect Road property has a main house and two garden flats.

Domestic worker Irene Nikelo, 58, who has worked at the property for nine years, was still struggling yesterday afternoon to deal with the horror.

“I went inside the house to change my clothes and found her lying in a pool of blood in the bed,” she said. “I ran out and called her son, Johnny, who then called the doctor. I was shocked.”

Nikelo said the frail Uren had struggled to get around without a walking aid and sometimes needed a wheelchair.

“She was old and just couldn’t anymore. She was defenseless.”

Uren’s son, John, 65 lives in another garden flat on the property, about 10m away. “I didn’t hear anything throughout the night. I really don’t know what happened. I am just so shocked,” he said.

Police spokeswoman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said Uren was last seen alive at about 8pm on Sunday. She said it was suspected that someone broke into the flat while she was asleep and attacked her.

None of Uren’s neighbours heard anything unusual during the night, although one man said he had heard dogs barking at about 5am.

Uren’s caregiver, Sister Diedie Edwards, only heard about the murder when she arrived at the flat shortly after 9am,

“I saw her [Uren] on Friday and she was fine. I am just so shocked, I can’t talk about it now,” she said.

One of Uren’s former domestic workers, who would only give her first name, Cynthia, for fear that the attackers would come after her, described Uren as a “very nice old woman” whom she had called “granny”.

“I am just so shocked. I can’t believe that this happened. She was such a nice woman,” she said.

Atlas Security operations manager Monty Montgomery said house robberies were on the increase throughout Nelson Mandela Bay, particularly in Walmer and Summerstrand.

“These crimes have also gotten far more violent,” he said. “There was violence in the past, but it was not common. Now violence in these attacks has definitely increased,” he said.

Uren’s attack comes only a month after a 75-year-old Walmer woman was beaten, raped and robbed raped, beaten and robbed in her Fordyce Road home.

Bulelani Maneli, 19, of Walmer township, was arrested minutes after the attack and was allegedly linked to a series of burglaries in the area since last year.Maneli pleaded guilty to rape, robbery and assault and was sentenced to 15 years for rape, five for assault and 15 for robbery.

In September, motorcyclist Shaun Mould, 44, was killed in a botched house robbery in Greenshields Park, which borders Walmer.