A former employee has been charged over the assault of a well-known swimming instructor at Lugarno last wek.
Rose Agius, 74, lay injured for 16 hours in the bedroom of her Woodlands Avenue home after a violent home invasion left her with head injuries.
Detectives later arrested Joshua Petranker, 34, in Forest Road at Peakhurst.
He has been charged with assaulting his former boss.
Detective Chief Inspector Robert Allison said the motive for the attack appeared to be robbery.
"A large amount of money had been stolen," he said.
Petranker appeared in Sutherland Local Court on Friday where the court heard Mrs Agius was scared of her former employee and had taken out an apprehended violence order against him which was to be heard in court this week.
The AVO will still be heard this week in conjunction with Petranker's bail application.
Oatley MP Mark Coure told Seven News he had known the victim "for years" and that she had taught both himself, his younger brothers and his children to swim.
"She's a local champion in our local community," he said. "This attack is just disgusting."
There has been an outpouring of support for Ms Agius on the Leader’s Facebook page.
‘‘Rose Agius wishing you a quick recovery. Peakhurst west won’t be the same till you return. This has rocked all in the family you have taught. Stay strong! Your a tough swim coach but you get good results. Just ask my girls,’’ wrote Sharon Louise.
‘‘So so sad. My children were devastated. We wish her a speedy recovery And hope to see her quickly return to the pool,’’ Maria Pierou Sinanis posted
PapaJohn Widmer wrote: ‘‘I have known Rose for a few decades. A passionate swim school owner and a wonderful lady. Our thoughts are with you sweetheart from Shire Swim School’’.
Emergency services were called to Ms Agius's home after she was found injured in her bedroom about 9am on Thursday.
She was taken to St George Hospital where she was treated for head injuries.
"Officers from St George Police Area Command have been told the woman was allegedly assaulted after she found a man in her bedroom about 5pm on Wednesday," a police spokesman said.
Police will allege Petranker punched Ms Agius to the ground before kicking her until she lost consciousness.
"It’s believed she lay injured for 16 hours before being found," the police spokesman said
"Detectives initiated inquiries and about midday arrested a 34-year-old man on Forest Road at Peakhurst.
"He was taken to Kogarah Police Station where he was charged with aggravated break and enter and commit serious indictable offence inflicting actual bodily harm."