The niece of an elderly woman has made an emotional appeal for justice her aunt died following a burglary.

In the final 999 call, Maureen Whale, 77, from Bells Hill, Barnet, reports she has just seen three men burgle her home all the while hyperventilating and then falling silent - Ms Whale is then discovered by police 15 minutes later at around 6pm and died later in hospital from a heart attack.

CCTV footage obtained by police shows three men crossing the road after having just burgled two homes opposite Ms Whale's address and climbing over her fence and entering her home via the unlocked back door at around 6pm.

One acted as a lookout for the others by watching Ms Whale through the kitchen window which backed onto her living room.

Ms Whale caught the thieves in the act and started to fall ill but managed to call the police.

The thieves stole her handbag which was later found "in a hedge" in Ravenscroft Park near her home on December 13 – Ms Whale’s birthday.

Niece Gina Owen, 45, said: “My aunt was a generous and kind lady, she lived alone lived within her means."

"I'm angry that these people did this.

"If this hadn't happened, she would have been with us celebrating her 78th birthday and also Christmas.

“I know that they didn’t have the intention to hurt anyone they just wanted to steal.

“But no one has come forward - if it were their relative or their mother, they would want someone to come forward.

"My aunt didn't have many valuables she was relaxing with a coffee, and she must have been left terrified.

"But I'm so grateful to the person she spoke to on the 999 call who was with her."

Since initial appeals have failed to turn up any new leads, the police will be releasing the 999 call hoping it will encourage people to come forward.

Gina on hearing the 999-call said: “Hearing the last phone call made by my aunt is extremely distressing, but we hope that by releasing this to the public somewhere will be moved to come forward with information.”

The investigation is now being treated as a manslaughter case.