THE Star can reveal that a reward of up to £5,000 has been made available by Crimestoppers for information leading to the conviction of a thug who cost 82-year-old great grandmother Margaret Briers her life.

The charity is also appealing for anyone who recognises an e-fit (pictured right) of the offender, which was drawn up by police from a description given by Margaret as she lay in a hospital bed just days before her death, to come forward.

The pensioner, also known as Peggy, died a week after a man claiming to be a policeman burst into her home in Caldbeck Grove, Carr Mill and pushed her to the floor before fleeing with just £16 in cash. She broke her hip during the assault on the night of Sunday, March 30, and was left lying in agony for 12 hours after the intruder ripped an emergency alarm from her neck.

Margaret (seen right) a great-grandmother of 24 and grandmother of 15, later contracted a chest infection and passed away in hospital, leading to police launching a manslaughter probe as they concluded her death was directly attributable to the attack.

In an emotional letter published by the St Helens Star a fortnight ago, 61-year-old Barbara Moat, one of Margaret’s five daughters, wrote about how she is haunted by the robbery that left her mother lying alone in agony, shouting for help that never came.

She told how the brute rejected her mother’s pleas for help and also revealed how terrified Margaret feared the attacker would “return to get her” as she lay in a hospital bed with her life ebbing away.

This week, 60-year-old Pauline Windsor from Moss Bank, another of the distraught daughters, said: “To anyone who is shielding this man I would say come forward with the vital information before he does this to another family.

“My mum should have been allowed to live her life happy and content in her bungalow. Our family is very angry. We can’t put it out of our heads and feel as though it has taken over our lives. We won’t rest until this man is brought to justice.”

The offender is described as white, in his mid 30s and 5ft 8ins to 5ft 10ins tall with a slim build. He has short brown hair and was clean shaven, with sharp features.

He was wearing a navy blue peaked cap and a coat which was buttoned up, with dirty looking brown shoes and gloves.

l Witnesses or anyone with information can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or the police incident room is 0151 777 1595. Information can be given to Crimestoppers anonymously.

The reward is available to anyone who gives information leading to the arrest and conviction of an offender or offenders for this crime. Any information given prior to this appeal will not count for reward purposes.

Details of the appeal appear on Crimestoppers most wanted website.