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Mayor pleads for information to catch attacker

Mayor pleads for information to catch attacker

North Shore City Mayor George Wood is shocked by the death of 85-year-old Northcote resident, Anja Pootjes-Knuppe, and is pleading with his community to help the police catch her attacker.

Mayor Wood, a former Police inspector, says the savage attack on the Dutch-born widow at her College Rd home last Tuesday was the despicable act of a greedy coward.

"We're shocked and deeply saddened by this incident. Our thoughts go out to Mrs Pootjes-Knuppe's family at this time," he says.

"We're also angry that something like this could happen to someone so vulnerable in our community," says the born and bred North Shore resident who served in the police force from 1966 until he became mayor in 1998.

"We need to catch this offender and quickly. I urge anyone with information to contact the North Shore police now by calling 488 6200. Any observation, however trivial or unimportant it may seem, could be the breakthrough we need.

"This is a case where I'm sure the North Shore community will get behind their police.

"I'm pleased to see the police has put a large team of investigators onto this case, with 15 officers now working on the inquiry. This is at the top end of criminal offending."

George Wood says beating up an old lady who lives alone and can only get around on a walking frame is the act of a coward.

"It's despicable and a tragedy."

Anja Pootjes-Knuppe died on Sunday at North Shore Hospital where she was taken after the attack.

Police report that the offender, described as a tall, tidily dressed, part-Maori or Polynesian, ran to Cadness St, climbed into the passenger seat of a 1980s red BMW and fled.

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