The victim of a burglary who was threatened with a sawn-off shotgun has spoken out in an appeal to find the culprit.

Susan Morris was at her home in Kingswood on October 26 last year when the man broke in wearing a balaclava savagely beat her, threatened her with the gun and stole jewellery from a safe.

She said: “I heard an extremely loud voice behind me, saying ‘take me to the safe. I want the jewellery'.

“He’s touching me the whole time. He literally was gripping me. I was covered in bruises, and not just my arms; there are photographs of where he bruised my body and all over my breasts.

“He told me to get on the floor. This is the moment when I think he’s going to rape me. I was really very frightened – absolutely petrified.”

She said the man pointed the gun at her chest, hit her on the face three times and dragged her along the floor by her hair during the ordeal.

“I literally thought ‘this is it, it’s all over, I’m gone’,” she said.

At one point, she thought he was going to cut her finger off to take a ring she was having difficulty removing.

She described how the incident has affected her life, and that of her husband Stephen, who was on his way home from taking his 91-year-old father to a hospital appointment during the incident.

Since then, Mrs Morris has begun treatment for anxiety, including taking medication, and she talked about the sentimental value of some of the items taken.

She said: “I’m not an anxious person. I find I very difficult to have to take medication to calm me down. I’m very jump and starty. Things around me like loud noises make me very nervous. It’s not like me at all.”

Their daughter had been at the house just an hour before the incident, and Mrs Morris said: “Thank God she did leave, because I dread to think what would have happened to her.”

The man, who police believe could be ex-military given his knowledge and skills, is being linked to another burglary in Kingswood on November 12, 2014, as well as burglaries in the Maidenhead, Chichester, Sevenoaks, Maidstone and Virginia Water areas since then.

More than £1 million worth of items has been taken during the burglaries.

Detective Inspector Dee Fielding from Surrey Police said: “We do not believe this to be the work of an opportunist burglar, but someone who has specialist knowledge and skills - possibly ex forces or from a similar background due to the way he has behaved and the circumstances of each incident.

“The burglaries all appear to be the work of someone who knows exactly what they are doing and who is incredibly decisive in their actions.”

The man is described as white, of a stocky or muscular build, around 6ft tall and with a southern English accent.

Anyone with information about the incidents, or especially about anyone who fits the description, is asked to call Surrey Police on 101, quoting Operation Prometheus, email, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.