RAIDERS who tied up the ex-wife of a millionaire businessman in her home were last night being hunted by police.
Detectives are probing the terrifying aggravated burglary, which happened while Sheila Quadrini was at her house in Gosforth, Newcastle.
The former wife of nightclub tycoon Michael Quadrini was tied up after three men stormed her plush property on Furzefield Road on Thursday night.
The raiders then fled with cash and jewellery after searching the house.
Mrs Quadrini, 69, was left bruised and shaken by her ordeal but was not seriously injured.
Last night people living on the street told The Journal of their shock.
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.”
Michael Quadrini, 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.
Over the next 20 years he 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 venues.
The Quadrinis, who have one son, divorced in 1985 but Sheila remained involved with the business.
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 enquiries 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.”
Anyone with any information about the burglary should contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.