IT was 9am when the raid was launched.

Her husband having left for work as a plumber's mate, Doris Buxey, 45, was upstairs with her young daughter when the bedroom door burst open and two masked men demanded to know where they kept their money.

It was the start of an hour long ordeal in which she was bound, yet courageously refused to co-operate with the intruders who had scarves covering their faces.

One man, looking unkempt and in need of a shave, tied her hands with a dressing gown and her feet with string, and for three quarters of an hour she was kept prisoner, forced to sit on the bed with the rough looking burglar standing over her and persistently demanding to know where their savings were hidden.

Resolutely she said nothing and the accomplice, dressed in a mac, ransacked the house.

Eventually he came across a money box in the bedroom but they could not find the key.

Again Mrs Buxey remained silent but eventually they came across it, and opening the box removed the £300 plus contents.

It was then one shouted: "Look out, Foxy, there's someone about" – though detectives believed it was simply a ruse to put them off the scene.

The pair left their victim to the bed and fled.

Freeing her wrists by biting on the cord, Mrs Buxey picked up her daughter, Jacqueline, who had been contentedly sleeping in her nearby cot, and staggered into the nearby driveway to Swanwick railway station.

The startled stationmaster, Augustus House, invited her into his house and phoned the police. She was later attended by a doctor at a neighbour's house but was so shocked that she was unable to furnish police with a detailed condition.

However fortune was on their side.

The intruders as well as their two lookouts, who struck at the property in Station Road, on May 29, 1955, were soon tracked down through the vigilance of an off-duty police officer.

It transpired the gang had driven to the scene twice on consecutive days, and their second visit was considered by the officer to be a strange coincidence. When he learnt of the raid, he informed his superiors he had seen their vehicle in the vicinity of the house and knew its owner.

It was then only a question of time before they were arrested.

The gang eventually appeared before Mr Justice Cassels at Hampshire Assizes where three admitted their respective roles. The fourth however, the ringleader Terence Mylon, 44, pleaded not guilty, simply claiming he had neither been involved.

He was quickly convicted.

"You used your influence and ingenuity to bring their raid about," the judge scorned. "You are a man of education and business experience and you must have known it was an illegal thing to do."

The Uxbridge company director and former army officer received the heaviest sentence of five years. Two others were jailed for four years and three years respectively and the third was sent for corrective training.

At the end of the case, the judge commended Det Sgt Cyril Holdaway – later to become Hampshire's top detective – for the efficient way he had conducted his investigations and spoke highly of the actions of all officers involved.