Northampton pensioner dies of 'broken heart syndrome' after burglary gang ransack her home in front of her

Betty Munroe was diagnosed with "broken heart syndrome" after she was robbed in her home this year.
Betty Munroe was diagnosed with "broken heart syndrome" after she was robbed in her home this year.

A 93-year-old Northampton woman who was "robbed of her sense of peace" in a burglary this year has died.

The family of 93-year-old Betty Munroe says the circumstances surrounding their "lovely mum's death" has left them feeling "so much sorrow" following her passing yesterday (August 21).

Northamptonshire Police say Betty's health "quickly deteriorated" following the crime.

Northamptonshire Police say Betty's health "quickly deteriorated" following the crime.

Betty was burgled at her home address in Kettering Road North, Northampton, near to the junction of Churchill Avenue, on June 11.

The incident happened at about 11pm, when three males forced entry into her house via the back door by using a pair of garden shears. Once inside, they confronted Betty and told her they were police officers.

They then stole all of her jewellery, including her late husband’s watch, her purse, bank cards, and a gold chain from around her neck, ransacking the premises in front of her before making good their escape.

Betty’s health deteriorated very quickly after the incident and she was diagnosed with PTSD following repeated nightmares, trouble sleeping, being sick and being unable to stop shaking.

Betty passed away on August 21, aged 93.

Betty passed away on August 21, aged 93.

Following a lengthy stay in hospital with heart trouble, she was eventually diagnosed with Takotsubo Syndrome, also known as broken heart syndrome, and passed away this week.

In a heartfelt statement released by Northamptonshire Police, Betty's family said: "The distressing circumstances of our lovely mum’s death have caused us so much sorrow.

"Before the burglary she was happy and living independently in her home of 56 years.

"The violent actions of these callous individuals robbed her not only of precious possessions, but of her sense of security and peace and the will to go on.

"All the generations of our family who owe her so much are bereft at her death."

Detective Inspector Simon Barnes of Northampton CID said: “This is one of the saddest cases I have come across during my career and a stark reminder of how deeply a burglary can affect a victim.

“Betty was in good health before this incident but she deteriorated very quickly after it and sadly died in her care home this week, surrounded by her family.

“I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to anyone who has any information about the burglary in June to please contact us, no matter how insignificant you think your information might be.

"If you want to do it anonymously, instead of calling us on 101, you can speak to Crimestoppers on 0800 55511 or use their online reporting form at the crimestoppers website.”