An 81-year-old woman from a Suffolk village who was allegedly attacked in her bed by a burglar has told a court of the experience.

Josey Walmsley had her screams muffled by the hand of a man who suddenly appeared in her bedroom just after midnight on 16 April 2020 at her house in Cavendish, near Sudbury, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The trial of Anthony Cosgrove, 46, who denies the charge of conspiracy to burgle with three other men, who have all previously pleaded guilty, heard Ms Walmsley was left “shaking” after the burglars bolted as her neighbour came to her aid.

Ipswich Crown Court heard Ms Walmsley had forgotten to lock the front door to her house on Nether Road and gone to bed at midnight.

“I heard a loud bang and I thought I was dreaming at first,” Ms Walmsley said in a pre-recorded police interview.

“I was going to turn the bedside light on and I saw a dark shape. I said 'who the hell are you what are you doing here?'

“Then he pounced on me. He put his hand across my face and I couldn’t breathe.

“I said 'what do you want? I can’t breathe. You’re killing me'.

“When he relaxed his hand I shouted help again.”

Ms Walmsley said he kept asking her "where are the queens?” which confused her.

The prosecution believes the word 'queens' was a mishearing of ‘coins’.

The court heard that a scream from Ms Walmsley alerted her neighbour, Jennifer Hewitt, through the thin walls.

“I heard Josey scream and it went on for several seconds," said Ms Hewitt.

“I immediately thought 'that’s not normal'.”

Ms Hewitt put on her dressing gown and ventured into the dark.

She added: “I saw the living room light was on and there was a figure standing inside with a backpack on.

“I called out 'Joe, are you alright?' There was no answer.

“The next thing two white males came running out the door.”

Ms Hewitt said she went inside. She could hear Ms Walmsley's muffled voice and went up to the bedroom.  

She added: “I could see a black male. He was leaning over Josey’s bed."

Then Ms Hewitt shouted: “What on earth are you doing?”

On the floor between them she suddenly noticed a crowbar.

She said: “I thought to myself 'my god, he’s actually going to use that as a weapon'.

“I felt more scared than I’ve ever felt before.”

In that moment Ms Hewitt said she thought about her son and what he would do without her.

She said: “He looked me in the eye then pushed past me.”

As the man left, Ms Hewitt quickly locked the door, called the police and tended to Ms Walmsley who was shaking and panting for breath.

Draws and cupboards were wide open the court heard but in the end only £20 was taken from Ms Walmsley’s purse.

A bag had been “incredibly carelessly” left behind by the burglars along with the crowbar, the court heard.

Prosecutor David Baird described the bag as a “burglary kit” and inside it was tape and latex gloves.  

Forensic evidence on the bag linked Sammy Okat-Uma, 45, of New North Road, Ilford, Essex to the scene.

He has since pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle.

Ashton Seymor, 48, of New Wanstead, London, was arrested based on an examination of Okat-Uma’s phone and he too pleaded guilty.

Steven Lawson, of Frances Green, Chelmsford, also pleaded guilty and Mr Baird told the court he played the role of a lookout during the burglary.

However, he died before this hearing took place.

Cosgrove, of Lodge Close, Chigwell, Essex was arrested in August 2020 and denies the charge.

The trial continues.