A masked gang who forced their way into an 93-year-old woman's home told her "make sure you don't f***ing die on us" as they shoved a hand over her mouth in the middle of the night.

The thugs remain on the run as police today upped a reward for finding them thanks to a businessman stumping up the cash.

The lowlife mob spent a whole hour at the great-gran of 10's home, ransacking drawers and cupboards in every room, and left their victim with heavy purple bruising on her face after roughly manhandling her.

The case prompted Merseyside Police's Chief Constable Andy Cooke to label them "scum" and urge for an end to the "no grass culture".

So far, no arrests have been made in the investigation, which saw the pension cash of £2,000 stolen, along with a handbag and credit cards, at the property in the Vauxhall area of Liverpool.

The Liverpool Echo understands detectives were set to close their inquiry, with dwindling hopes of catching those responsible.

Chief Constable Andy Cooke called the burglars scum

But a city businessman, who previously offered a £3,000 reward, has come forward once again to help with the hunt.

The entrepreneur, who wants to remain anonymous, added an extra £2,000 onto that prize, meaning £5,000 is available to anyone who could provide crucial information to help prosecute the criminals.

Today, the victim's daughter described how the grandmother-of-seven's ordeal was still mentally scarring her mum, who has never returned home since it happened, in the early hours of Wednesday, March 4.

She said: "This is not just about my mum, but anyone else these awful people could do this to.

"My mum gets nightmares and wants to be back in her own home. It's had a huge effect on her, if she hears a noise in the night, she is terrified.

"It's affected us all as a family, but there's nothing we can do about it."

A great-gran-of-10, she still has visions of waking up and seeing the hand pushing over her face and forcing her down onto the bed.

The trauma has led her to sleep in the same bed as her niece, for a short period, for reassurance.

Officers now think the robbery was a professional job, with precious little forensic evidence left at the north Liverpool address.

The 93-year-old is still paying rent on the abandoned home, and maintains a will to return in the future to where she has lived for 23 years, but that looks increasingly unlikely.

It has also emerged how the cruel thugs thumbed through precious photo albums and emptied sentimental pictures onto the floor.

The businessman, who offered the reward added: "I don't want this case to fade into the background. It's really got under my skin.

"I care for my very elderly mum, and I hate vulnerable people being targeted by these scallies who couldn't hold their own with someone their own size.

"I like to think I'm a good citizen and in a position to help financially - I wish I could do something else for the family."

Read More

Top news stories from Mirror Online

The fiercely independent pensioner, who lost her husband in 2001, rang her 70-year-old daughter, and was unable just to stutter the words: "I've been burgled."

The terrible crime left the pensioner, who was a hardworking cleaner when younger and who lived through the Blitz, retching with shock days later.

At the time, Chief Constable Cooke was outraged enough to say: "This is horrendous. Please help us catch the scum who did this.

"And don't give me any of that no grass culture nonsense. This is a 93 year old woman in her own house who should be afforded respect and dignity."

Call police with information on 101.