A night of terror: woman confronts intruders
A NIGHT from hell has led to an outpouring of community support for a woman who stood up to intruders during a break and enter.
Last week, Sinead Johnson was enjoying the independence of living out of home in her South Grafton house purpose-built to cater for her cerebral palsy.
The 28-year-old realised her dream of moving out of home only three months ago after spending years saving money from her disability pension.
At 3am on September 19 she received a knock on the door from a woman who called herself Sabrina Williams.
"I answered and unlocked the door and she asked me for a taxi," Ms Johnson said.
"I went to my bedroom, got the phone, called the taxi. She said 'can I use your toilet', I let her in, she was in there for a couple of minutes."
"She left and said 'you've got a lovely house, sorry to wake you up'."
A few minutes later banging began at the front door and Ms Johnson immediately called police.
"They (the police) heard all of it. I said 'come quickly, I'm scared'," she said.
The intruders cut power to the house and kicked their way in through a security screen window.
"I got into my walking frame and then I heard voices in my kitchen," Ms Johnson said.
"The female was there and she straight away punched the side of my head and called me a slut and said where's my bag."
It was the same woman who had used her toilet earlier that night.
"She opened my spare bedroom door, and said 'you get in there now', I said no and straight away I went outside yelling for help."
The intruders took off, leaving her shaken and scared.
"I keep getting headaches off and on, and I'm a bit more wobbly than normal," Ms Johnson said.
Police took fingerprints and DNA from a bottle the intruders left behind, but have not yet found the culprits.
Ms Johnson's mother Teresa Glossop said: "Sinead has such a big heart, she has probably been taken advantage of."
Ms Johnson's entire family had pitched in to build the home she no longer feels safe in. Her stepfather putting in 12-hour days, six days a week to build the house in a year.
"She does want to go back, but Simon took nearly a year off work to build the house," Ms Glossop said.
"We're just skint, we've got no money left."
Ms Glossop has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for better security in Ms Johnson's home.
The house needs a new front door, security cameras, deadlocks for the bedroom door, fencing and a guard dog.
Ms Johnson had always wanted a dog, and now not only for company but for safety.
The campaign has raised over $3000 in a week with a goal of $10,000 to cover costs.
"Everyone has been really generous. Even just the comments, the feedback and the support. It's really outweighed the bad, though it's still bad," Ms Glossop said.