Shocking . . . Elsie Beckhouse says she was beaten to within an inch of her life
Shocking . . . Elsie Beckhouse says she was beaten to within an inch of her life

Woman charged with attempted murder in home raid

AS Elsie Beckhouse felt herself drift away, she prayed she would survive her dreadful ordeal.

The Coffs Harbour war widow, who turns 83 next month, reckons she'd be dead if a friend hadn't rushed to her aid as she was being bashed in her Albany Street home.

Elsie, a great, great grandmother who has already lived through a major coronary and four subsequent heart attacks, was dressed for bed when she stepped onto her balcony at 7.10pm on Saturday to take in the cool night air.

She says that suddenly, a woman confronted and menaced her, and as Elsie rushed back inside, the woman followed.

Elsie tried to activate her duress alarm but says the woman pushed it away and pinned Elsie face-down on the floor.

Elsie says the woman began punching her head, grabbed her hair and slammed her head on the floor, threatening to kill her.

Elsie tried to sing out but couldn't says the woman prevented her from doing so.

“I grabbed her in the crutch, but she kept on belting me all the time,” Elsie said.

“I managed to let out 'help me, help me' but her hand was over my mouth and her hand was back under my neck. I could feel myself fading away but I was thinking 'don't let it beat you'.

“I was praying 'please God, don't let me have another heart attack'.”

An elderly neighbour who heard the commotion rushed into Elsie's unit to investigate and set off the duress alarm. Elsie says her assailant  then stopped the beating but stayed at the apartment.

The woman was sitting on Elsie's steps when paramedics arrived. Police also attended and took her away.

Elsie was treated at hospital for a black left eye, a gash on the top of her head, a cut behind her left ear, grazing to her right side, and abrasions to her knees, her right elbow and inside her mouth.

She was released from hospital on Sunday afternoon, but confesses she is now frightened to be in her own home. • A woman, 42, has been charged with causing wounding with intent to murder. Police refused her bail to appear in court at a later date. The woman is undergoing assessment at the Coffs Harbour Health Campus mental health unit.

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