Security beefed up at victim's home

Last updated 14:00 10/02/2014

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The Lower Hutt home of elderly attack victim Frank Watene will soon be dripping with security features but his wife Barbara seems most pleased with the prospect of having a peephole in the front door.

Had there been a peephole just over a week ago Mrs Watene, 76, might not have answered the tap at the door in the early hours of the morning.

"I put my hand on the door handle and felt there was something wrong."

Not realising the time was about 3am, she expected to see a sports coach who was to collect a teenager in the family at about 6.30am, so opened the door a few inches.

Instead a stranger stood outside.

"I just said, more or less, to get out of my property and slammed the door shut."

But then windows were smashed and her husband Frank, 70, went outside to see off what is thought to have been three intruders, although he now remembers only one.

The noise of breaking glass drew neighbours who cut short the attack on Mr Watene.

But he had already been punched and hit with a piece of wood broken from the cats' bed outside the door.

His body is now mottled with bruises, his collar bone is fractured, he has stitches inside one ear, and his head aches.

"If it was not for my neighbours I would be dead," Mr Watene said.

The couple still have no idea why it happened, and can only think it was a case of mistaken identity.

They have fostered hundreds of children at their Naenae house and many have been back in contact since learning of the February 2 attack on Mr Watene.

Strangers have also sent their best wishes.

The ASB Bank is paying for beefed-up security including an alarm system with panic button and triple locked security doors.

The three businesses doing the work have topped up the package, making sure the smoke alarms are renewed and security doors are top-of- the line.

"We have had a lot of love and kindness," Mrs Watene said. 

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- The Dominion Post

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