A disabled elderly woman was tied to her stair lift by “despicable” robbers who ransacked her home.
Alice Turner, 74, chewed through three layers of duct tape to raise the alarm after being bound for 20 minutes.
Two men stole six money boxes containing around £750 in the vicious attack – including one with £50 worth of five pence pieces which the mother-of-six was saving up for her great, great grandson.
They threatened to cut her finger off and also stole her new handbag – with it a precious photograph of her late husband, Albert.
The robbers burst into the pensioner’s Christie Avenue, Morecambe, home after she answered their knock at the door at around 7pm on Friday, December 20.
Clutching her chest where she had been violently grabbed, Alice told the Guardian: “These two fellas barged their way in and pushed me on the stairs. I started shouting for my neighbours but they had gone out.
“One of them put his hand over my mouth and said: ‘Stop shouting!’ and ‘Where’s your money? Where’s your money?
“I said I hadn’t got any and he said: ‘We know you have’. Then his mate grabbed my arm and duct-taped my arms to the stair lift.
“They said if I didn’t tell them where my money was they would cut my finger off –that’s where it got
Frightened Alice then pointed the men in the direction of her tin money boxes.
The pair ransacked the house, searching upstairs and down for cash, before fleeing.
Alice went on: “I bit through the duct tape. I saw one bit I thought was the end of the tape and got gnawing at it.
“I thought: ‘Are they going to kill me?’
“They were going to tape my mouth and I said I wouldn’t have been able to breathe. They kept shouting: ‘Just calm down and look at the wall’.”
Alice, who suffers from asthma and osteoporosis, was left with badly bruised arms and wrists after the assault.
She bought the handbag after her previous bag was snatched from her car on Nelson Street, Morecambe, just six weeks ago.
The former barmaid, cleaner and hotel manager moved from hometown Aberdeen to Morecambe in 1958 and has lived on Christie Avenue since 1959.
She retired in 1994 when her husband died.
Alice continued: “I keep breaking down and crying. I’m not sleeping properly and I’m having chest pains.
“I have fought lung cancer and beat that and had a broken back - I’m not ready to die yet.”
Son David Turner, 49, of Morecambe, who now wants CCTV installed on the estate, has moved in to look after his mother.
He said: “Everyone who knows mum will know she’s a tough lady and always has been.
“Anyone more frail would have found this harder to come to terms with. They are cruel, cowardly, heartless scum, picking on a defenceless woman.
“I would appeal to anyone who knows anything or might have information to please get in touch with police, who are so far doing an excellent job.”
Despite her ordeal, Alice said: “I’m not letting it spoil Christmas. David’s going to be stuck in the kitchen cooking and me and his girlfriend will be watching the gogglebox, drinking tea and eating biscuits.”
Detective Inspector Andy Bunn, from Lancashire Police, said: “This was a most despicable attack on a vulnerable and defenceless elderly woman in the run up to Christmas.
“The level of violence used was completely unnecessary.”
Both men were described as white, well-built and wearing hats. One was around 6ft tall and the second around 5ft8.
Both covered their faces during the attack.
Contact Lancashire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.