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'We've been burgled. I don't know what to do' - Final words of Stanley Amarasinghe who died after break-in

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THE eldest son of the pensioner who died of a heart attack when he returned home to find his house burgled has given a dramatic account of how he desperately tried to save his life. Sixty-seven year old Stanley Amarasinghe went into cardiac arrest when he came arrived back at his Beckford Road home after visiting his local Buddhist temple with his three sons and found thousands of pounds and all his wife's jewellery stolen on April 3 (Wednesday) around 7.10pm. He immediately called his wife, Renuka, 47, who was at work at the nearby Albany Lodge nursing home and said: "We have been burgled, I don't know what to do." They turned out to be his final words. The couple's eldest son Carlo, 16, told how when he had returned home with his father and two brothers, he had run into the house and saw the back windows all smashed in and the cupboard under the stairs ripped out. When he went upstairs, he found his father already up there staring at the place where he kept all his family's most treasured possessions. "My father was making terrible noises and I knew something was very wrong. He had a triple heart bypass years back and I knew it was weak. I asked him if he was ok but he couldn't answer, I was so scared." Along with the family jewellery, thousands of pounds of savings and a piggy bank collection had also been taken. "My father collected two pound coins and kept them in the piggy bank. It was in memory of his nephew who died on April 2, 2002, in a motorbike accident. My dad died the same day, 11 years later," said Carlo. "I called the police and they came within three minutes. But by this time, my dad was making more noises and was lying flat out in an armchair. I had to do something so I put him on the floor and tried to save him by doing CPR but it did not work. "Only 10 seconds before the ambulance arrived, my dad closed his eyes. He had passed away. It was the shock that killed him – the shock of seeing our house like that. "When my mum arrived home and saw him lying there on the floor, all she could do was scream and pray and pray he wasn't dead." He was rushed to Croydon University Hospital, but doctors were unable to save him and he was pronounced dead. A post-mortem later found he had died of heart failure. The presidents of their local temple, the Thames Buddhist Vihara in Selsdon, Dr Herath Kularatne, said Mr Amarasinghe had been a main figure of the Sri Lankan community who worshiped there. "They were a very close family and came every week together. I saw Stanley on the day he died when they came to visit. He was very devoted and always helping out, lending a hand to people. It is a great loss for all of us." Mr Amarasinghe's sister Enid Perara, 68, who lives near Shirley, had also been with her brother at the temple laying flowers on her son's grave. "My son and my brother died on the same day, just years apart," she said. "I don't understand it." The son, Carlo, said his father was a great lover of cars and treasured a Mercedes ring which his wife had given him. He said they would bury him with the Mercedes logo on the gravestone. "My dad had asked to be buried alongside his mother, dressed in his wedding suit," Carlo said. Police believe the house was burgled some time between 11.30am and 7pm, but no one was at the property when Mr Amarasinghe returned. No arrests have been made in connection with the burglary, and detectives from Croydon CID are appealing for anyone with information to contact Detective Sergeant Parker on 020 3276 2179. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

'We've been burgled. I don't know what to do' - Final words of Stanley Amarasinghe who died after break-in


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