Last month a woman of nearly a hundred was battered and abused as she lay in bed in her own home. She has now died, and a case of extreme assault has become a murder investigation.
The photograph to your left is of 93 year old Emma Winnall. It was released by West Midlands Police after this frail, bedridden old lady was battered to within an inch of her life. She suffered a fractured skull, broken arm and wrist and a partially severed finger. Now, the final inch has gone, and an investigation into a sickening attack has become a murder hunt.
There have been two arrests so far but both people have been released; they appear to have been arrested simply because they had been in her home at some time. Although the police are keeping an open mind about this case, there is a suspicion that more one person was responsible, but as nothing was stolen and a woman of that age can hardly have any enemies, the motive for the attack, now murder, remains baffling.
Fortunately, attacks of this nature are extremely rare. In 1986, Kenneth Erskine - the Stockwell Strangler - murdered seven elderly people, including one aged 94. He also sexually assaulted his victims, of both sexes.
Last year, Delroy Grant - the Night Stalker - was given a life sentence ending his seventeen year reign of terror. The best thing that can be said about him is that he didn't actually kill anyone.
Hopefully, the killer of Emma Winnall will be brought to book soon, but the biggest fear of both the police and the elderly is that this shocking attack may not be the only such crime he or they commit.