Neighbours rally round after thug’s armed rampage in Goodmayes

Feroz Patel came to the aid of a woman who was being attacked in Lynford Gardens. Picture Ken Mears.

Feroz Patel came to the aid of a woman who was being attacked in Lynford Gardens. Picture Ken Mears. - Credit: Archant

Residents have rallied around a widowed grandad, 89, who was held hostage by an armed thug and had cash stolen.

The pensioner who was threatened with noxious chemicals and a 12in screwdriver, had £150 taken last week as part of a “horrific” 36-hour burglary spree across the borough.

The day after breaking into his property in Lynford Gardens, Goodmayes, the robber stole cash and bank cards from a woman in Green Lane, Ilford, after threatening her with a screwdriver. Later that night he woke up a 60-year-old woman in her home, in Westwood Road, Seven Kings, punched her and threw chemicals in her face.

But the community has rallied around the pensioner from Lynford Gardens, who was burgled a week before his 90th birthday.

Feroz Patel, 42, only became aware of the plight of his neighbour when a woman frantically knocked and asked for help.

“I felt guilty that he had been held hostage near me and I didn’t know,” he said.

“I put my shoes on to see what I could do but the (attacker) was already walking down the road.”

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The thug went on to spray a woman in the face further down the street and steal her car. She only just managed to get her child out of the vehicle before he drove off.

Mr Patel said: “My adrenalin was pumping as I ran down to help the woman.

“It wasn’t a brave thing to do, I just had to help her – I couldn’t ignore it.”

Speaking to the Recorder, the brave pensioner, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the attacker took cash he had saved to buy Christmas presents for his children.

“He said he would go if I gave him £150 but I had £175 altogether in my room. I said to him ‘you better count the money out as I need to claim it on my insurance’. He counted it and gave me £25 back in change.”

The victim said his attacker’s mood changed between being calm and “stabbing the wardrobe with the screwdriver”.

Neighbours have since made him a “lovely jam sponge” to help him get over the ordeal, and raised money to tide the 89-year-old over until after Christmas.

No arrest have been made and police are appealing for information.

The suspect is described as a white, slim, man, aged between 30 and 45 and around 5ft 9in.

He has short brown hair and was wearing a dark jacket, blue jeans, and brown leather shoes.

If you have any infomation call Redbridge CID on 020 8345 2721, or anonymously on 101.