COPS RAID HOUSE OF FOSTER MUM HONOURED BY QUEEN
COPS probing the bucket bomb tube attack stormed the home of foster parents honoured by the Queen.
Armed officers burst into the Surrey house where Penelope and Ronald Jones have cared for children, including refugees from war-torn countries.
Earlier an 18-year-old suspect was arrested in Dover as he tried to board a ferry.
ARMED police poured into a respectable street yesterday as the war on terror reached sleepy suburbia.
Officers probing the London Tube bomb stormed into the home of elderly Penelope and Ronald Jones – honoured for fostering hundreds of children, including warzone refugees.
Neighbours claimed explosives were found in their garden.
Four hundred frantic residents were evacuated – some at a minute’s notice – as the operation swung into action in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey.
It came after an 18-year-old suspect was arrested 100 miles away near the ferry terminal in Dover as he tried to flee the UK.
Penelope and Ronald have six children of their own. Neighbours said two Syrian boys had been fostered by the couple recently and claimed one had been questioned by police earlier this month.
Serena Barber, 45, who lives in Cavendish Road, said: “There has been a lot of trouble with one of the boys. The other boy was really quiet.”
Serena told of the moment police stormed the street at 1.40pm yesterday. She said: “There was a loud bang on our door. An armed officer was there. He gave us two minutes to get out. It was terrifying. I left my daughter’s ashes in the house. If anything happens I will be heartbroken.”
Sindi Xaba, 26, who was evacuated with her husband and son, said: “We were told there were explosives in a back garden but they didn’t say where. We were told it was close by. It is worrying.”
Mojgan Jamali was told by police to get out as quick as she could. The mother of three said: “There was a knock at the door from the police.
“They told me to leave. They said: ‘You have one minute to get out of the house and get away’.
“I just got out, I got my three children and we left the house and the street.”
Specialist police teams were combing the couple’s lilac-painted home and garden yesterday.
It is close to the train line to Wimbledon, which links directly with the Tube to central London, via Parsons Green – scene of Friday’s Tube attack.
Passengers were left running in terror after a crude bucket bomb packed with nails and screws ignited on the rush-hour service. The IED – encased in a Lidl cool bag – could have unleashed a deadly blast that would have killed dozens had it fully detonated at 8.20am. It partially exploded – sending a wall of flame along the carriage.
Some 30 passengers suffered burns or other injuries as they tumbled out of the train in panic.
Nicola Rider, 43, who lives opposite the Sunbury property, said: “Police went to the house last week, but I don’t know why.
“Penny and Ron are fantastic people, really caring. They’ve always been nothing but friendly to me. Penny is quite eccentric.
“She has lilac highlights in her hair and their house is painted lilac too.”
Other neighbours were reeling at yesterday’s events. They spoke of Mr and Mrs Jones as a kind and caring couple who did all they could to help needy children.
The couple – both awarded the MBE for services to fostering – have taken in at least 268 children over the years. They include at least eight refugees from warzones in Iraq, Eritrea and Syria.
Penelope, 71, uses her Facebook page to proudly display some of the children. One pictures shows three teenagers enjoying a cup of tea and smiling inside her home.
And on her Facebook page she even paid tribute to the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks, writing:
SCENE Armed officers and forensic experts in Surrey yesterday
GONG: Mr & Mrs Jones honoured by Queen
TARGET Lilac home stormed by cops
FOSTER PARENTS Ronald and Penelope