A PENSIONER has been left too frightened to live in her home after she was beaten across the head with a torch and then locked in a bathroom by violent burglars.

Mohinder Kaur Hundal, 72, suffered a fractured cheekbone, a deep wound to her arm and bruising following the attack in Stockton.

The two burglars stole a substantial amount of cash and jewellery during what the police believe was a ‘targeted’ attack.

Mrs Hundal was at the family home alone on Friday evening when she answered the door believing it may be her grandson, but was violently assaulted by the two men - one in a balaclava - who forced entry into the large detached house.

While the attack was being carried out the victim’s daughter, Anita Kaur, was trying to ring her mother from the Del Convenience Store on Rimswell Parade which is owned by the family.

Having not got a response on the landline or mobile she rushed home and was greeted by the horrendous sight of her mother leaning out of the bathroom window shouting for help.

The 51-year-old said: “How could they do this? The first thing was not to ask mam for money, it was to use violence against her then demand money.

“I feel sick when I think about it. How can they keep hitting an old person like that? They were really kicking and punching and hitting her with something heavy. She says they had a torch.”

Grandmother-of-eight Mrs Hundal, who was born in India and lived in Chicago with another daughter before moving to Stockton ten-years-ago, said: “I’m very scared to live in the house now. We always think this is the safest country in the world, but if this can happen .... well we never thought it could happen.”

Following the attack she was taken for treatment at University Hospital of North Tees. Her cheekbone injury is expected to take four-to-five weeks to heal although it is not known yet if it will require surgery.

Detective Inspector Steve Roche said: “This was a traumatic and terrifying experience for the elderly victim, who was subject to this ordeal in her own home.

“We are determined to find those responsible, this was a cowardly attack on a vulnerable lady and I would urge anyone with any information to get in contact.

“There will be someone who knows about this burglary and is protecting the men involved. My question to them is would they be protecting these people if the victim was their grandmother?”

The first man is described as white; around 6ft to 6ft 2ins tall, slim build with a long face, thin nose, around 22-years-old, wearing a turquoise hooded top and had a local accent.

The second man was between 5ft 6ins and 5ft 8ins tall, with medium build, wearing a black balaclava and gloves.

Two men arrested on suspicion of burglary in connection with incident have been released without charge.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Stockton CID on the non-emergency 101 number or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.