An elderly man has died in hospital after he and his wife were seriously assaulted during a home invasion in Sydney’s north-west overnight.
Police said two masked men broke into a home at Cherrybrook shortly after midnight, before threatening the couple and assaulting them.
The couple, who have been identified as Colin and Josephine Saliba, were taken to Westmead Hospital with serious head injuries.
Mr Saliba, 86, died in hospital today surrounded by heartbroken relatives.
His 84-year-old wife remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition.
NSW Police Acting Superintendent Anthony Boyd said nothing was stolen from the home and police believed the attack was targeted.
“There’s no indication at this stage that this is a random attack,” he said.
“We believe that there was some motive and we will form an investigation around that.”
A crime scene has been set up at the couple’s home, with forensic officers gathering evidence and using sniffer dogs to search the area.
Detectives are investigating any grievances surrounding the couple’s family fruit business at Bilpin in the Blue Mountains.
Superintendent Boyd said the two alleged attackers were still on the run.
“To attack defenceless elderly people in their own home is a cowardly, gutless attack,” he said.
Neighbour Vince Del Gallegl said he was shocked and saddened by the attack.
“He was always very courteous. I can’t imagine this man being targeted,” Mr Del Gallegl said.
“I’ve lived in this area for about 35 years now. This is the first time I have seen this.
“This is a real shocker, an absolute shocker.”