Wimbledon burglary brings terrible flashback for granddaughter of Stockwell Strangler victim

Ransacked: An intruder attempted to burgle Anne Cockett's bedroom while she slept

Ransacked: An intruder attempted to burgle Anne Cockett's bedroom while she slept

First published in News
Last updated
Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

The granddaughter of a victim of the Stockwell Strangler has told of her terrifying 'flashback' after a burglar broke into her mother's home.

Hayley Cockett, 40, grew up in 26 Haydons Road, Wimbledon, where her 62-year-old mother, Anne Cockett, who suffers from advanced Alzheimers continues to live with a carer.

Describing the break-in last Wednesday she said: "Mum's carer, Norma, was woken by a loud bang, she got up and looked outside her window at the back of the house but it was too dark to see anything.

"She then heard footsteps and was sure someone had got inside the house.

"She went to the landing and as she stepped onto the staircase, she was met by an intruder coming up the stairs.

"As you can imagine Norma was petrified and screamed for help as loud as she could, which obviously disturbed the intruder as he bolted through the back door into the rear garden."

Miss Cockett's grandmother, Janet Cockett, was the second victim of 'Stockwell Strangler' Kenneth Urskine, who strangled seven elderly people to death in the 1980s.

She said: "When Norma phoned at one in the morning I was fast asleep in bed and the first thing she said was the police are here can you come over.

"The first thing I remembered was years and years ago back in the 80s my father's mother lived in Brixton and she was strangled to death by an intruder so the first thing was it all flashed back."

Police were called to the scene at 1.30am on Wednesday, July 2, and searched the house with police dogs, but the intruder had already fled.

Miss Cockett, from Morden, said: "How can someone do this to someone who's really vulnerable whose home he ransacked? I find that really quite disturbing.

"We have never had anything like this in the time we have lived here in all our lives. The trouble is there's no community. Nobody knows their neighbours anymore."

Nothing was stolen from the property.

Miss Cockett said: "I have had all the locks changed. It's a really busy road and at that time in the morning you still get cars going up and down but because it's also a busy road there's alleyways and five or six gates which I'm assuming should be locked. They were swinging open."

If you saw anyone acting suspiciously in Haydons Road or in the surrounding area please call Merton police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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