THE family of an 85-year-old widow who came face-to-face with a burglar in her own home have blasted the culprit as “the lowest of the low”.

The victim had just shown her carer out of her bungalow in Barnardiston Road, Colchester, on Wednesday evening when she turned to find an intruder in her kitchen.

The family suspect the raider climbed over a back gate to access the property.

He carried a white cloth and told the pensioner he was there “to do her dusting”.

The victim’s granddaughter said: “She said ‘I don’t need anyone to do my dusting, get out of my house.’ He barged past her, went into her bedroom and started rifling through bedroom cabinets.

“She shouted ‘Get out.’ She started calling 999, my grandmother presumed he was looking for her purse.”

The burglar, who was described only as a white man, was spooked by the call and failed to find the victim’s hidden handbag.

He fled through the front door having taken some jewellery before the police arrived.

The victim, who has lived alone since her husband died around six years ago, has given her statement to the police.

Officers conducted door-to-door inquiries but the burglar has not been found.

Her granddaughter added: “I popped in to see her this morning and she said she’d had scene of crimes round taking DNA. The police are taking it extremely seriously.

“She is shaken up, she had been coping remarkably well living on her own since she’s been widowed.

“After this she asked me if it was time for her to go into a home but she’s got her three cats to think about.

“It knocks the confidence when something like this happens. She’s subdued and not herself, it’s knocked the wind out of her.

“The person who did this is a complete scumbag - the lowest of the low - picking on the most vulnerable in our society.”

The burglary took place at around 7.50pm on Wednesday.

Anyone with any information can call Essex Police on 101 quoting crime reference number 42/84327/21.