28/04/2006

Man arrested in connection with pensioner's death

A 38-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the death of a pensioner in Belfast city centre.

67-year-old James Connor, from the Hartington Court area of the city, died in hospital after being attacked and robbed at Wilson Court, close to the Mermaid Bar in the Ann Street area of the city, at around 5.30pm on Wednesday.

Police have revealed that the victim was attacked from behind, and as he fell to the ground, the robber stole his wallet.

Detectives are awaiting the results of a post mortem examination to determine whether Mr Connor was murdered.

Yesterday, CCTV footage was released of the mugger being chased from the scene of the attack by a member of the public, and throwing Mr Connor's wallet into a bin.

Mr Connor was taken to hospital, where he later died.

Police believe that the assault may be linked to a similar incident in which an 85-year-old man was also attacked and robbed.

This incident is understood to have happened just before 5.30pm at Winecellar Entry, just off High Street.

The pensioner was also struck on the side of the head and robbed.

The mugger is described as being a male, around 5'11 and of heavy build. He is believed to be aged between 30-40 years old, with thin, dark hair and was wearing a beige jacket and blue jeans.

Anyone who may have witnessed either incident or who may have any information in relation to the attacks, to contact them on 0845 600 8000, or on the Crimestoppers number on 0800 555 111.

(EF)

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