Born Free star Virginia McKenna sends special message to Newtown woman, 88, attacked in her home - video

By Jonny Drury | Newtown | News | Published:

Born Free actress Virginia McKenna has passed her best wishes on to a Newtown woman who suffered a serious assault in her own home.

Blanche Rowlands, 88, was discovered by a neighbour on June 19 in her home in Dolfor with significant facial and arm injuries.

She has since been discharged from hospital, and four men have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Messages of support have been pouring in from the local area, however one message earlier this week stood out.

Virginia McKenna sends a special message to Auntie Blanche

Bafta-winning actress Virgina McKenna OBE, was opening a library in Ellesmere where she recorded a get well soon message along with Tree Hunter Rob McBride.

Mr McBride worked with the victim's nephew Mervyn Lloyd Jones, on a campaign to save the Brimmon Oak Tree in Newtown.

In a touching message, Ms McKenna said: "I've just learnt about your horrible experience, I am so sorry it must be agony what you are going through.

"I wish you a speedy recovery and send my best wishes, and we might even meet one day."


Her family were delighted by the words of support, and Mr Jones said the video had been shown to his Auntie Blanche.

He said: "It was fantastic to see, it really touched the family, when they saw it they had tears in their eyes.

"We showed it to Auntie Blanche, who was delighted with the lovely words, and said 'How does she know me?'

"It was at an event in Ellesmere, and Rob who has been working closely with me met up with her, and told her the story.


"It was a lovely thing to do, it has really given my Auntie a boost and put a smile on her face.

"The support we have had as been fantastic, and we're so pleased with it."

Four men were arrested by police earlier this week, and a further appeal for information has been made.

Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed three of the men, aged 41, 49 and 50 have been arrested and released on police bail with conditions, while all lines of enquiry are followed.

A fourth man arrested as been released under investigation for handling stolen goods.

A spokesperson for the police said: "The force has now issued a further appeal for a potential witness, who found a wallet in or around the area of Newtown Skate Park between June 19 and 21.

"Anyone with any information is urged to contact Newtown Joint Investigation Team on 101." Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or at

Mr Jones said the family are still struggling to come to terms with the incident, and said it has left the local community "rocked".

He added: "The public have been so concerned by the whole incident, they don't want it happening to one of their relatives.

"We just can't understand why someone would do this.

"The injuries she has received are horrible, and we just want justice and hope the police can deliver.

"They have been fantastic so far, they have moved mountains to try and uncover this case, and we are grateful, they have been very concerned for her."

The police also said it is possible the offenders, who assaulted the victim and stole from her home, visited the house the day before they attacked.

They are asked people if they saw any suspicious activity on the evening on Sunday June 18, or saw any activity on June 19 between 9am and 4.30pm.

Police are also asked for people who have been offered to buy any jewellery or old coins since the incident to contact them.

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.


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