Family of widow, 88, attacked in her home are happy justice has been done

By Jonny Drury | Newtown | News | Published:

The family of a woman brutally attacked in her home said their year of hell is over after three men were jailed for a total of 20 years.

Blanche Rowlands following the attack

On June 18 last year, 88-year-old widow Blanche Rowlands was in her home in Newtown, when she was brutally attacked leaving her with a broken arm and life-changing injuries.

She was locked in a room for hours, and has suffered ongoing problems ever since.

Almost a year later, on Wednesday, three men were jailed for charges of robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.

From left; Jeffery Earp, Keith Grogan, and Carl Barrett were all jailed

Jeffery Earp, 50, of Ceiriog, attacked Mrs Rowlands, hitting her repeatedly in the face with a mystery weapon, and was jailed for 14 years and four months.

Two other men from the town, Keith Grogan, 42, of Frolic Street, and Carl Barrett, 51, of Dinas, were each jailed for three years.

After the trio changed their pleas to guilty and were sentenced at Caernarfon Crown Court, the victim’s family said they were relieved the year of hell is over.

Her nephew, Mervyn Lloyd-Jones thanked everyone who has helped put the three men behind bars.


Robbery victim Blanche Rowlands

He said: “It is good news they have been put behind bars, and we are so grateful for the support from our family, neighbours and the people of Newtown.

“It has been year of hell for the family and we are just glad it is over.

“Auntie Blanche has suffered life changing injuries and we are pleased that justice has been done.


See also:

Robber ‘ruined’ life of widow, 88, in attack

“Everyone has been so supportive, the police have been fantastic and the media for getting the information out there.”

Items were stolen from the victim’s home, including an engagement ring, a gold watch received as a 21st birthday present, and her late husband’s gold ring. None of the items was recovered.


Mrs Rowlands was locked in her bedroom for several hours and was found by a neighbour.

Her daughter Bethan said: “The whole family are happy with the result. On behalf of mum I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the community for their support of mum over the past 12 months.”

Detective Constable Amy Davies said the horrific attack was one of the worst she has dealt with.

She added: “This horrific, planned attack on a vulnerable woman is the worst case I have dealt with. Blanche was subjected to brutal, sustained attack, and left with life changing injuries. This could easily have been a much worse outcome.

“After an intense year-long investigation I am satisfied we secured the best possible outcome for Blanche and her family.

“I would like to thank the Newtown community for their help and support, which helped us get this case to court and secure some sense of justice for everyone affected.”

The three men denied the charges and the case was due to go to trial, until their guilty pleas earlier this week.

Mr Lloyd-Jones added: “They have only just changed their pleas, had they done that earlier it could have saved the family this ordeal, but now we are happy justice has been done.”

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.


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