A HOME invasion and robbery that went awry has left a resident with horrific injuries.

At around 9pm on Sunday evening Elspeth Watson, 68, was alone in her house on Church Street, Horwich, when she heard a noise coming from the living room.

Upon an inspection of the noise, the retired GP receptionist and former aerobics instructor was confronted by a man she did not recognise who claimed he was looking for his dog.

The Bolton News: The perpetrator fled, smashing through the gate

At this point Ms Watson escorted him out, but as soon as they made it outside, the man then ran back inside and grabbed Ms Watson’s handbag and returned outside to attempt to make a getaway.

Ms Watson began to shout at the man to get out her house and to return her handbag, to which he reportedly replied: “Do you want a slap?”

The next thing she knew the man was in her car, a black Volkswagen T Roc with a white roof, which caused Ms Watson to scream at the top of her voice for someone to come and help her.

Her partner, 61-year-old retired dentist John Holton, had taken their dog out for a walk at the time of the incident. He said: “She must have been in a bit of a shocked state with that confrontation.

“One of the neighbours recorded it on his CCTV. There’s no visual recording but you can actually hear what’s going on. The shouting at each other.”

The CCTV appears to have identified to presence of two men, as Mr Holton explained: “You can hear the conversation between what presumably two people were, because he wouldn’t be talking to himself.”

Despite being hazy on the details, from what Ms Watson has reported Mr Holton surmises that she must have closed the gate, shutting the car in.

Mr Holton said: “She was stood behind the gate. Now whether she was hit by the car as he drove straight through the gate and hit her as well, ran over her, I don’t know. Someone said there were tyre marks on her, so that’s possible.”

After having made an escape, the vehicle was then dumped at Horwich Leisure Centre less than half a mile down the road, which has since been recovered by the police for forensic examination.

Ms Watson is currently being treated at Salford Royal for the injuries she sustained during the incident, which include a fractured hip, lacerations around her right eye and further fractures in that area and to her cheek, as well as a subarachnoid haemorrhage – bleeding on the surface of her brain.

Ms Watson already has a heart problem and takes anticoagulants – medicine that helps prevent blood clots, so the bleeding from the injuries she sustained was “quite excessive.”

Mr Holton said: “She’s a very robust lady but is currently in a scary situation. She’s as tough as they come. A typical northern lass.”

“She looks a bit of a state at the moment, but she seems to be coping quite well.”

Mr Holton was understandably distressed when recounting the scene, saying: “It’s quite a shock really, to come back and find her lying on the ground. I just didn’t know what state she was in. She was conscious but she was very badly injured and I didn’t know how serious it was. She could’ve died.”

He added: “She has to undergo a fairly serious operation to fix these hip fractures. Having a heart problem doesn’t help. It is quite a worry.”

A local resident, who was the first to arrive on the scene to assist Ms Watson, mentioned they had previously heard reports of people casing houses in the area, with suggestions of door handles being tested.

Mr Holton extended his gratitude to all those helped on the night, including neighbours and emergency services: “I’d like to thank them for all of their assistance at the time and their rapid response. Everybody was very helpful at the time.”

He added: “The ambulance was really quick. The police followed up fairly shortly after, but the ambulance was here and the attention she received was absolutely superb.”

Insp Deborah Hurst, of GMP's Bolton district, said: "This was a horrific experience for the victim, we wish her well, hoping she makes a full recovery.

"Enquiries are ongoing but we are appealing for anyone with information to contact us.

"We are particularly interested in hearing from anyone with dash cam footage which shows the VW T Roc since it was stolen on Sunday evening"

Anyone with information should contact Greater Manchester Police quoting 2959 of February 27 via 0161 856 5757 or gmp.police.uk. Information can also be shared anonymously via, the independent charity, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.