Elderly couple's home targeted in terrifying case of mistaken identity

An elderly couple's home has been targeted in two terrifying night-time attacks in an apparent case of mistaken identity.

Monday, 13th August 2018, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 13th August 2018, 10:45 am
James and Katherine Napper outside their home

James and Katherine Napper’s house in Springwell Terrace, Hetton, had paint thrown over its front door and windows two weeks ago.

Then the couple had to rush home from a break in Scotland on Friday after rocks were thrown through the windows.

The results of last month's paint attack

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The couple, both 68, were in bed on Monday night last week, when the paint attack happened.

“We just heard a big bang,” said James.

“I went to the front, and couldn’t see anything, but at half past seven, my neighbour said ‘Have you seen what’s happened to the house?’.”

The second attack occurred while the couple were at the end of a week away: “After the paint attack, we weren’t going to go,” said James.

“But I thought ‘What is going to happen, is going to happen.’ I thought we had got through the week, but no.

“My phone had been on charge in the caravan and when I switched it on there were loads of messages saying to call.

“It was about 1.30am on Friday. They have put the windows out, jumped in the car and sped off towards Four Lane Ends.

“I have got a decorative rocks and they are like that - they must weigh five or six pounds each.”

James is desperate to get the message out that the couple are being wrongly targeted.

“We are both approaching 70,” he said. “My wife is registered disabled. She has been having trouble for the last two-and-a-half years and has just been diagnosed with dementia.

“We just want to get the word out and let whoever is paying these people know that they are targeting the wrong house.”

A Northumbria Police spokesman confirmed the force was investigating two attacks at the home.

“At around 8.23am on Tuesday, July 31, police received a report paint had been thrown at an address in Springwell Terrace between 8pm the previous evening and 7.45am that morning,” he said.

“At around 4.45am on Friday, we received a report the window had been damaged.

“Anyone who knows the people responsible, or saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area at the time, is asked to call police on 101 quoting log 202 31/07/18 for the first incident or 153 10/08/18 for the second.”