TWO teenagers have been arrested in connection with the alleged beating and rape of a 65-year-old widow in her home.

One 19-year-old will appear before Teesside magistrates, in Middlesbrough, today, charged with aggravated burglary and rape of the widow at her home in The Grove, in the town's Marton area, last Thursday.

Another 19-year-old was still in custody yesterday at Middlesbrough police station, where detectives were questioning him into the night about the attack on the grandmother.

Police revealed last night that two women - a 30-year-old and a 19-year-old - who are both believed to be from the Grove Hill area of Middlesbrough, were arrested yesterday on suspicion of handling stolen property.

The women have now been released on police bail.

A 21-year-old man who was arrested with one of the 19-year-olds on Saturday has also been released on police bail.

Despite the arrests, police last night renewed their appeals for anyone who can help their investigation to come forward.

A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said last night: "If anyone has information that they think can assist us, they should still phone the incident room."

The 65-year-old pensioner, who has not been named, is still in hospital today.

Detectives have not yet been able to question her in detail.

Police said that the woman had been watching television in the living room of her home on Thursday night, when she heard noises from another room and went to investigate.

The bungalow was ransacked, and cash and credit cards were taken.

Police said the injured pensioner was left unconscious, but later rang 999 after coming round.

Officers have looked at security camera footage from nearby houses.

Acting Detective Inspector Paul Richardson, who is leading the inquiry, said: "The lady is still traumatised and recovering in hospital, and while we haven't been able to get a full account from her, we have started to piece together what happened that evening."

He added: "The response from the public in The Grove has been excellent, but we would still appeal for anyone who has any information to contact us."

Mr Richardson is leading a team of 20 detectives, all focused on catching and bringing to justice those who were responsible.

Anyone with information can contact the incident room on (01642) 303189.