29/11/2002

Pensioners robbed in separate incidents

A pensioner has been attacked and robbed in his home in north Belfast yesterday evening.

The 65-year-old man was in the living room of his Carntall Road home, in Newtownabbey, when three men burst in at around 5pm. The men demanded money and beat the man across the head and body with an iron bar.

The victim was then bound and gagged before the house was ransacked. The gang made off a sum of money.

The pensioner was able to make his way to a neighbour's house to raise the alarm.

SDLP councillor for the area Noreen McClelland warned that, after a spate of attacks on the elderly across Belfast, OAPs should "ensure that property is well secured" and, if they are in any doubt as to the identity of callers, they should not open the door.

She added: "This was an appalling incident and people living in the area are shocked and disgusted that a pensioner would be targeted and so savagely attacked in this way. It is all the more disgusting given that we are only weeks away from Christmas."

Elsewhere, a pensioner was attacked and robbed by three men in Portadown, Co Armagh.

At around 7pm last night, the elderly lady answered a knock to the door of her home at Westland Road.

The gang pushed into the house and one held the woman down whilst the other two searched for valuables.

The gang made off with a sum of money and a gold watch.

Police have appealed for anyone with information on either incident to contact them.

(GMcG)

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