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Man quizzed after pensioners attack

A 36-year-old man has been arrested after an elderly couple were seriously injured in a "vicious attack" by a suspected burglar, police have said.

A 90-year-old man suffered injuries to his throat while his wife, in her 80s, sustained head injuries when they were assaulted at their home in Elm Grove, Scunthorpe, yesterday evening.

Humberside Police said a man was arrested at an address in Brigg, North Lincolnshire, early this morning and is being questioned at Scunthorpe police station.

The elderly man is being treated at the Diana Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby while his wife is at Scunthorpe General Hospital. Both are in a stable condition.

Police were alerted after members of the public reported seeing a man running from the pensioners' home and o fficers found the couple seriously injured.

A man was seen driving away in a white van following the attack, which happened at about 5.20pm.

Earlier, a Humberside Police spokesman said: "It is believed they were assaulted by the man who was attempting to burgle them.

"At this time it is not known whether anything was stolen."

Detective Inspector Jon Cross said last night: "This was a vicious attack on two elderly and vulnerable members of the community in their own home."

The address in Elm Grove has been cordoned off and crime scene investigators are examining the property.

House-to-house inquiries have been carried out in the area.

Neighbour Martin Sloan said: "It's just a small community street. When things like this happen, you just can't believe it.

"I hope all the best for them. I hope everything's OK."

Mr Sloan said he was alerted yesterday by an alarm.

"I thought it was a car alarm further down the street but, as it progressed, we understand that it was the alarm on his house.

"We saw them come out. It didn't look very good."

Mr Sloan said he has lived in the street for 22 years and the couple involved had lived there much longer, maybe for as long as 40 years.

He said: "It's unbelievable. You wouldn't think something like this would happen on this street. Definitely not.

"I know everybody on this street.

"It's quite a shock really to find out that something like this has happened."

Police sitting in a patrol car were guarding the semi-detached property this morning.

The neatly-kept house is the first property in a short cul-de-sac and at least four security lights and three CCTV cameras as well as a burglar alarm are visible on its exterior.

Mr Sloan said: "He's got lots of security on his house and that's why I can't understand why this has happened.

"He's got CCTV all over the place and I don't really know what's happened.

"It's a very, very quiet street. It's a very quiet area. It's a good area. It's quite shocking to hear what's gone on."

He added: "It's not very nice for Christmas. Well, it's not very nice any time, to be honest with you."

And Mr Sloan said he did not know if the couple's family lived locally but added that they are still quite mobile despite their age.

He said: "They kept themselves to themselves, basically. We keep ourselves to ourselves. But we still look out for people.

"They go out every week. And get a taxi to go shopping."

Another neighbour, Suzanne Cowling, said; "They're an old couple who just keep themselves to themselves.

"We just heard his alarm going off at teatime and a local dog walker had already rung the police."

She added: "Nobody deserves that in their own home. It's not right."

Ms Cowling said there had been a number of reports of intruders in gardens, trying doors and garages and being seen near empty properties in recent weeks.

She said: "It doesn't seem to be as safe round here as it used to be."

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