As Wimbledon 2019 comes to the end of its first week, Petra Kvitova is back and trying to win her third title. So it’s a good time to remember this post from January and get an update on what happened to the man who nearly ended Petra’s career!
It’s not what they take, it’s what they leave behind. This was the tag line from a TV and radio advertising campaign for a national home alarm company. This weekend brought that sentiment back into the media limelight again. Petra Kvitova’s epic struggle against Naomi Osaka in the final of the Australian Women’s Tennis Open has been all over social media. The cameras captured every strain, grimace and grunt as the two women battled it out.
But back in December 2016, there were no cameras on hand when Petra was attacked in her home. She let the man into her apartment because she thought he was going to read the meter. It was a typical distraction attack. The intruder then used a knife to attack her. He demanded cash and slashed at her left hand as she tried to protect herself. After he had run off, she had to call the Police herself.
An ambulance then had to drive to a specialist hospital 65km away for emergency surgery!
What the home intruder left behind
The injury to tendons and nerves in the fingers of her racquet hand forced her out of competitions for 6 months.
Residual trauma and flashbacks also meant that she never returned to her apartment which was sold the following August.
Because her attacker had not yet been caught, Petra admitted that she still feels uneasy amongst crowds. And even going out was not as simple as it once was. When asked about the thing that would make her happiest… “When the story is finished.”
As Kvitova threw herself back into her tennis, her attacker remained at large. Sadly, there was no real trail of evidence for the Police to follow. It was not until June 2018 – 18 months later – when an anonymous tip allowed the Police to make an arrest. The suspect was reported to have preyed on old people in their apartments in the same way that he had attacked the tennis star. If convicted of Petra’s attack, he faces between 5 and 12 years in prison.
What security measures would have helped catch Petra’s in-house attacker?
Eastern Security’s director, Chris Pottle, always recommends an HD CCTV camera system for homeowners who want to have the best chance of catching any intruder. After 30 years in the industry, he says:
- Instal vandal-resistant cameras with HD quality images and 2.8/12mm varifocal lenses so you have a choice of what you want to see
- Use proven equipment and not something that has just come onto the market
- Make sure your system has enough memory on the hard drive to store 30 days of recording with non-stop playing and not motion record
- Get a monitored system
- If you live alone, have a panic alarm
With a monitored CCTV system, Petra would have been able to hit a panic alarm that would have triggered an alert at the monitoring station. They would have seen her attack and ensured that help was immediately on its way.
Some systems even allow the monitor to speak to the people in the house. The CCTV cameras would have recorded the incident and this footage would have been of a good enough quality for Police to get a clear image of the attacker.
They would have known who they were looking for. The footage could also have been used in any resulting prosecution.
In March of 2019, Petra Kvitova gave evidence by video camera in the trial of the man who had almost ended her career. She told the judge that she recognised the man who attacked her – particularly his eyes!
The man claimed never to have been in her apartment and produced witnesses to confirm that he had been at work. But the prosecution had DNA evidence to prove otherwise. The judge sentenced him to eight years in prison. Finally Petra can feel secure that he is behind bars.
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