A 77-YEAR-OLD former Fiji woman played dead scaring off a masked man who had attacked and robbed her at knifepoint in a brazen daylight home invasion on Wednesday in New Zealand.
The elderly woman was attacked in her Papatoetoe home when she went outside to get her laundry about midday.
The woman who left Fiji 20 years ago, was bruised and in shock after the ordeal and her family has asked the public to help identify the "sick" assailant.
The New Zealand Herald reported the woman was at the back of her house when she was attacked by the assailant, who grabbed her from the back and had a knife in his hand.
It reported the woman's son whose name has not been released said the large man, dressed in black and wearing a balaclava, gripped his mother by her arms and pushed her into the nearest room, her bedroom, and used a silk scarf to bind her hands behind her.
"The cover sheet from the bed, he put it on her head. There are bruises on her face. The knots were so tight on her neck.
"She's really tough, she fought everything. He tried to do everything and she was yelling at him, 'no, no, no'. After that he tried to pull her from the bed and dropped her on the ground and pulled her down the corridor.
"She stopped her breath so he thought she was dead. That's when he left," the son said.
New Zealand police are hunting for the man.
The elderly woman was taken to Middlemore Hospital where she stayed overnight for full body X-rays and also a CT scan.
She was later discharged.
The New Zealand Herald reported the intruder stole cash, ripped the woman's valuable gold necklace from her neck and pulled thick gold bangles off her wrists.
New Zealand police have called on those who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the area of Huia and Stonex roads, Bernard St and Kimpton Rd to contact them immediately.