A WOMAN recalled the terrifying moment a balaclava-wearing man burst into her family home and attached what appeared to be a collar bomb to her neck which would explode if a ransom wasn’t paid.
Madeleine Pulver was just 17 when an intruder broke into her parents’ £8million mansion home in the upscale Sydney suburb of Mosman.
She had not even left high school when her life was turned upside when disgruntled investment banker Paul Douglas Peters suddenly invaded her home one afternoon in August 2011.
As well as being masked, he was carrying a baseball bat as he told her she wouldn’t be hurt as long as her parents followed his instructions.
He then yanked on a collar bomb around her neck with a letter demanding cash from her parents, Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver and his wife Belinda, before fleeing.
It took police and experts 10 hours to analyse the device and declare it to be a dummy.
But before this Madeleine thought she would die.
New South Wales Police today released details of the traumatising incident, including how Madeleine was forced to call her parents to tell them she was being held hostage by the collar bomb.
A police dispatch note read: “She told police that a short time before an older male wearing a balaclava and carrying a baseball bat approached her and told her that he was not going to hurt her.
“He then locked a device around her neck so it could not be removed.
“He also put a USB thumb drive attached to a lanyard around her neck. A plastic sleeve was also attached to the lanyard which held a two page document outlining extortion demands and instructions”
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Peters was eventually identified as the suspect after police used an email address in the ransom note to track his movements.
In 2012 the 43-year-old was arrested at his former wife’s home in Louisville, Kentucky, almost two weeks after the crime before being extradited back to Australia where he was convicted of extortion and jailed for 13 and a half years.
Now Madeleine is 26 and an interior designer, working for Studio Aria across the bay from her home.
In an interview published by Daily Mail Australia today, she admitted the ordeal still haunted her but that she “tries not to think about it”.
She said: “I’m doing really well, I’m working as an interior designer and I’m loving it.
“I had a career shift last year and I’m doing what I’m really passionate about now.”