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Millionaire’s ex-wife tied up in her home as raiders flee with cash and jewellery
Shelia Quadrini, 69, was doused in petrol and left tied up for over an hourManaged to escape by dialing 999 with her tongueHer ex-husband Michael, also 69, opened the Tuxedo Princess, the famous floating nightclub on the Tyne, in the 1980s
17:54 GMT, 8 December 2012
The ex-wife of nightclub tycoon Michael Quadrini was tied up in her home in Gosforth, Newcastle on Thursday night while raiders plundered cash and jewellery before fleeing.
Sheila Quadrini, 69, was left bruised and shocked but was not seriously injured. Her ex-husband Michael, also 69, made a name
for himself on the Tyneside club scene in the 1980s when he opened the
Tuxedo Princess, the famous floating nightclub on the Tyne.
Mrs Quadrini was doused in petrol and left trussed up for over an hour before managing to dial 999 using her tongue.
The raiders waited until Shelia Quadrini, 69, had opened the door before forcing their way in. She was left bruised and shocked but was not seriously injured
She was attacked at her detached house in Gosforth at around 6.30pm on Thursday. A neighbour said: 'Things like this just do not happen around here. This is a very select street'
She was attacked as she arrived at her detached home in Gosforth at around 6.30pm on Thursday. As she entered the house, she was bundled inside by the three raiders, who tied her up before pouring petrol on her.
The raiders then ripped off the jewellery she was wearing and searched the house for anything else of value.
They had waited until she had opened the door before forcing their way in.
Today, her former millionaire husband has spoken out about how the attack left his ex-wife feeling shocked.
'She’s totally distressed, she’s in a state of shock and she doesn’t want to go back to the house,' he said.
'She had just left the office and went home. I think they watched her coming in. She must have just turned the alarm off. They must have brought the petrol with them and they poured it on her and threatened her.'
The raiders fled before police, firefighters and an ambulance arrived at around 8pm.
After setting up the
Tuxedo Princess, Mr Quadirini amassed an empire of bars and restaurants under the umbrella of Absolute Leisure.
In 2004 the company was said to be worth 15.4m.
But just five years later Absolute
Leisure, which was also behind The Lounge and Cocomo’s Restaurant, ran
into financial difficulty and administrators were appointed to sell its
The Quadrinis, who have one son, divorced in 1985 but Sheila remained involved with the business.
After setting up the Tuxedo Princess, Michael Quadirini amassed an empire of bars and restaurants under the umbrella of Absolute Leisure. In 2004 the company was said to be worth 15.4m
Last night, neighbours of Mrs Quadrini, on Furzefield Road, spoke of their shock at the attack.
Alec Birkbeck, 79, who lives across the road, said: 'I saw all the police and ambulances out of the window.
'There were a lot of vehicles and a fire engine, but I didn’t know what had happened. Then the police were knocking on everybody’s doors and asking if we had seen anything.
'It would be very frightening to be sat at home and have something like this happen. All of us round here have all the security possible. To insure a house of this value you have to.'
Derek Oake, 84, who lives next door, added: 'Things like this just do not happen around here. This is a very select street.'
Former leader of Newcastle City Council, Coun David Faulkner, who lives just a few streets away, said: 'It’s definitely a shock that this could happen in such a quiet and respectable area.
'This is always thought of as being a very safe part of the city with very little crime. It sounds like this is very out of the ordinary.
'But we don’t know if they have picked up on the name or if they just thought the property was vulnerable. I think people will be quite shocked to hear not just of the burglary but of the nature of it.'
Police are now appealing for help to trace the violent trio.
Det Insp Steve Wouldhave, from Northumbria Police, said: 'This was clearly a horrific ordeal for the victim who has understandably been left incredibly shaken and distressed.
'We are now carrying out extensive inquiries into this matter which we are treating extremely seriously and I urge anyone who was in the area between 7pm and 8pm and saw anything suspicious or out of the ordinary, or has any information they believe may help with the investigation, to contact us.'
Michael Quadrini made a name for himself on the Tyneside club scene in the 1980s when he opened the Tuxedo Princess, the famous floating nightclub on the Tyne