Islington pensioner saw suspected burglar at window before he fell 40 feet

PUBLISHED: 07:16 20 January 2011

The man fell from the top of this house into the basement garden below.

The man fell from the top of this house into the basement garden below.


A SUSPECTED burglar plummeted three storeys from the roof of a terraced house after a terrified pensioner saw his hands at her window.

The man suffered severe spinal injuries when he fell from the top of the Georgian property in Elizabeth Avenue, Islington, at midday on Friday and landed in the basement garden 40 feet below.

The occupant of the house, who is still too scared to give her name, said that she saw a man’s hands pushing at the glass of her kitchen window, before she rushed downstairs to the basement flat for help.

She said: “I saw his hands on the glass in my kitchen but he couldn’t get in because the window was bolted. I don’t know if he fell from the window ledge or the roof but both are very high up. He fell a long way. I looked down into the garden and saw him lying on the floor in a ball.

“He called the paramedics himself and they sent a lot of people very quickly. I saw one of the paramedics leap over a garage at the back of the garden in order to reach him.

“There was a helicopter overhead and he was shouting at them for help. He was obviously in a lot of pain and there was blood on the ground where he had been. It was horrible.”

Police were called to the scene by London Ambulance Service at 12.12pm.

The man was taken to hospital where he was still receiving treatment for injuries to his back, pelvis and legs this week.

It is believed that scaffolding at the front of a house further down the road could have been used to get on to the roofs of the million-pound terraced houses.

“The police told me that he climbed up the scaffolding on another house and that he walked along the roofs to get here,” said the traumatised grandmother. “It was bright daylight though, so I don’t know how he wasn’t seen.

“Thank God he didn’t get in because, if he had, I would have dropped dead with fright. He would have scared me to death.

“Nothing like this has ever happened here. I have lived here for many years and I have never experienced anything like this. I feel very unsafe now. I live in this flat on my own and this experience has made me very nervous.”

A spokeswoman for the London Ambulance Service said: “we were called to the scene just before midday to a report that a 35-year-old man had fallen from a roof. We sent two ambulances and an air ambulance. The man was taken to hospital for treatment.”

Police arrested a 35-year-old man on January 14 on suspicion of burglary. He has been bailed to return to police on March 22.

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