Woman, 82, suffers horrific injuries after being strangled with dog lead in her own home by attacker

An 82-year-old woman is recovering after being strangled with a dog lead in her own home in a brutal attack.

Catherine Smith was left with two black eyes and cuts and bruises to her face after the unprovoked attack in south London last Thursday.

She was followed to her home by a woman who watched her walk her dog while on her mobility scooter in Palace Road Nature Gardens near Streatham Hill.

When she arrived home at about 1pm, Ms Smith saw a woman she does know know – who had been in the gardens – sitting on a wall outside the front of her property.

The woman kept asking Ms Smith ‘where’s Tracey?’ and asked her her repeatedly for money. Ms Smith told her she didn’t know a Tracey and went inside and shut the door.

However, the suspect rang the doorbell and asked if she could use her toilet, the Metropolitan Police said.

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When Ms Smith said no, the woman became aggressive and pushed open the front door. This caused Ms Smith to fall backwards and hit her head.

In an ensuing struggle, the suspect grabbed Ms Smith’s dog lead, wrapped it around her neck and started to strangle her.

Catherine Smith was attacked at her home (Picture: Metropolitan Police)
Catherine Smith was attacked at her home (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

The suspect ran off after the attack.

Ms Smith called for help and members of the public came to her aid and called the police. She was covered with blood and was taken to hospital with serious injuries. She has since been discharged.

The suspect is described as a white woman, about 5ft 5ins tall, of slim build, with slick backed black hair. She was wearing a khaki coloured zipped coat, multi-coloured trainers and tights.

Detective Constable Vicky Vincent, the investigating officer from Lambeth CID, said: ‘This was a vicious unprovoked attack on an elderly vulnerable woman’s own doorstep. The attack has left her very distressed.

‘We believe the suspect spotted Catherine in Palace Road Nature Gardens and for unknown reasons decided to follow her home, harass her and then brutally assault her.

‘We would encourage anyone with information or any witnesses to contact us as a matter of urgency so we can bring the person responsible for this heinous crime to justice.’

Anyone with information or any witnesses should 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