Pensioner died after ‘targeted assault by would-be robber’

Margaret Grant, 79, died in hospital following a disturbance at her home in Edinburgh on Friday evening.

Edinburgh: Officers remain in attendance. STV
Edinburgh: Officers remain in attendance.

Detectives investigating the “suspicious” death of a 79-year-old woman believe she was attacked by a would-be robber who knew her by name.

Margaret Grant died in hospital following a disturbance at her home in Edinburgh’s Restalrig Circus at around 6.50pm on Friday.

On Sunday, police revealed that they are looking to trace a man they believe entered the property and assaulted the pensioner with the intention of stealing from her.

The man was disturbed by a member of the public and left the scene on foot.

Detectives are still attempting to establish if anything was taken and are urging the man to hand himself in.

Officers believe the “cowardly and despicable attack” was targeted and the man responsible may have known Ms Grant by name.

The death is being treated as suspicious and officers remain at the scene as enquiries continue to try and establish the full circumstances surrounding the death.

Investigation: Police branded the attack ‘cowardly and despicable’.

The suspect is believed to be aged between 20 and 30, around 5ft 6in, and had combed-back dark hair.

He was wearing dark trousers and a black top which may have had white lower sleeves.

Detective chief inspector Kevin Houliston, from Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team, said: “This was a cowardly and despicable attack on an elderly woman within her home.

“It is imperative anyone with any information about what happened makes contact with us so we can find the man responsible.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Margaret at this difficult time.”

In a message to the culprit, he added: “If you have any conscience at all, please hand yourself in.”

Ms Grant, who police described as “elderly and frail” and lived alone, never married and had no children.

However, officers have managed to get in contact with members of her extended family, some of whom live in Scotland.

If you have any information, call 101.

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