BUCKET BOMBER DRAMA AS TER­ROR RAID AT FOSTER HOME Cou­ple cared for refugee kids

The People - - NEWS FEATURES & -

“Penny has such a big heart. She helps any­one who needs it. She used to run a youth cen­tre. She just loves chil­dren.”

Penny, 71, who with Ron re­ceived an MBE in 2009 for ser­vices to fos­ter­ing, uses her Face­book to proudly dis­play some of the chil­dren.

One pic­ture 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.

Penny has pre­vi­ously spo­ken of the work she puts into car­ing for the for­eign refugees she fosters with her 88- year- old hus­band by teach­ing young­sters Bri­tish val­ues. Friend Nikki Ni­cholas said: “They’re a won­der­ful cou­ple who have lived at that ad­dress ever since they were mar­ried. “I spent 20 years on this street and they’re loved and re­spected by ev­ery­one. They’re an amaz­ing cou­ple who would do any­thing for any­one. “I know they housed refugees for so­cial ser­vices for years. They’re old but so kind. They don’t de­serve this. “They took on trou­bled kids and changed their lives for the bet­ter.” More than 400 neigh­bours in Sun­bury- on-Thames, Sur­rey, were evac­u­ated from their homes for sev­eral hours as spe­cial­ist cops wear­ing foren­sic uni­forms scoured for clues. Some were told they had just a minute to get out. The prop­erty be­ing searched is on the train line up to Wim­ble­don, South West London, which links di­rectly with the Dis­trict Line tube to Par­sons Green en route to cen­tral London lo­ca­tions in­clud­ing West­min­ster. On Fri­day pas­sen­gers had to flee in ter­ror af­ter a crude bucket bomb packed with nails and screws ig­nited on the rush-hour ser­vice. The bomb, en­cased in a Lidl cool bag, could have unleashed a deadly blast that would have killed dozens had it fully det­o­nated at 8.20am.

Ni­cola Rider, 43, who lives op­po­site the 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 friendly to me.

“Penny is quite ec­cen­tric. She has li­lac high­lights in her hair and their house is painted li­lac too.

“I was out when the po­lice came but my part­ner was in and he said armed po­lice knocked on the door and told him to get out. It’s been a re­ally fright­en­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Neigh­bour 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.

Wor­ry­ing

“We were told it was close by. It is wor­ry­ing for us.”

Stacey Wak­en­shaw, 32, who grew up on the street, said: “I’ve known them since I was about nine – you couldn’t find a more lovely cou­ple. They’ve been fos­ter­ing as

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.