Husband of woman who tortured in South Africa robbery speaks about horrific ordeal.
Robert Lynn, 66 a retired mechanical engineer from Belfast in Northern Ireland, was tortured with a blow torch by robbers who shot him in the neck in east of South Africa. His legs and arms were covered with stab wounds, burns, bruises and stitches, but still have a worrisome question to the robbers, what they gain or achieved in murdering his animal-loving British wife.
Sue Howarth, 64, was sleeping in their house near trout fishing village of Dullstroom, when two gun shots went off at around 2.10 am last Sunday. But before he Robert could turn to check on his wife, the men had entered house through the bedroom window. In fear, Robert climbed out of bed and one of the men hit him hard on the back of the head with a gun and dragged him out.
The robbers rejected the money 320 rand and his bank card with pin code he offered them, but instead they put down on a chair in his lounge, found a blow torch use for stripping paint and started burning him. They burnt Mr. Robert from his feet to his stomach then ran out of gas that is when the evil act stopped.
They covered his face with plastic bag and bundled him and his wife into the back of a pickup truck, they drove around for some minutes then stopped. They marched him through a veldt and fences with barbed wire, then asked him to kneel.
That is when Mr. Robert passed out and couldn’t remember anything, only to wake up to see his hands were all tired and had all turned to black. He started crawling looking for a way out when he found his wife struggling to stay alive.
He seek for help from passing cars, until a truck with two fisher men stopped and carried them to the hospital. But Mrs Howarth later died in hospital.
Mr. Robert has since been unable to overcome the death of his beloved wife who he describe as a good woman and loved horses and dogs, especially border collies. Mrs Howarth is the daughter of a Royal Navy officer and was born in Southsea in Portsmouth.
Three men, have been arrested and appeared in court on Monday morning in connection with the attack. The will remain in custody and will appear again on March 10.
Mr Robert is retired, has no children and hasn’t thought about returning to his hometown of Belfast in Northern Ireland. He said “I would like to give everything I own away and disappear for good.”
According to the group Afriforum, 345 farmers were killed in South Africa in 2016, and Mrs Howarth was the 15th person to killed February.
David Spoor, a farmer in the area, said farm murders have reached an “unprecedented level” in South Africa.