THE former wife of a millionaire businessman was tied up and doused with petrol while raiders plundered her home for jewellery and cash.
Sheila Quadrini was left trussed up for more than an hour after the attackers fled until she managed to dial 999 with her tongue.
Mrs Quadrini, 69, was attacked as she arrived at her home on Furzefield Road, Newcastle at around 6.30pm on Thursday night.
The three raiders waited until she had opened the door before bundling her inside and tying her up.
They then ripped off the jewellery she was wearing and searched the house.
The raiders fled before police, firefighters and an ambulance arrived at around 8pm.
The ex-wife of nightclub tycoon, Michael Quadrini, who set up the famous floating nightclub, the Tuxedo Princess, was left bruised and shocked.
On Saturday, her former millionaire husband, said: "She was tied up for an hour-and-a-half and had petrol poured on her and she had to dial the police with her tongue.
"She's totally distressed, she's in a state of shock and she doesn't want to go back to the house.
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.
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.”