THE family of a 61-year-old woman, hit over the head by burglars who broke into her Banbridge home, has said the pensioner has been left shaken by the incident.
Two men used a crowbar to prise open the door of the woman’s Forthill Green home last Wednesday evening and struck her on the head when she attempted to call for help.
The victim’s cousin, who did not want to reveal her identity in order to protect her relative who she described as “particularly vulnerable”, said she was left shocked by the incident.
“We just live nearby and she called me and we think that’s when they hit her,” said the woman.
“By the time we got down there the men had gone. There was no sign of them. Her head was cut and there was blood but thankfully she wasn’t more seriously injured.”
The woman said her cousin has been left in shock since the break-in.
“She was able to get some rest and sleep a day or two after so we’re just hoping she can get over this and get back to feeling comfortable in her own home,” she said.
“We can only hope this was a random attack and that the police are able to catch whoever has done this so they can be prevented from hurting anyone else.”
The woman, who added that while her cousin lives alone many of her relatives are close by and she has visitors every day, said the community must be commended for their support since the attack.
“She had just been inundated with visitors and well-wishes from everyone in the local area,” said the woman. “So many people have offered their support since this happened. And the police have been excellent too, they couldn’t have done any more for us.”
A spokesman for the Cline Road Community Association said the incident had shocked those living in the area. “The Cline Road, Old Newry Road and Fort Street areas take great pride in the harmonious spirit of our area and utterly reject those that would rob, threaten and commit violent acts against members of our community.
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“The elderly have an absolute right to live peacefully without being targeted by the dregs of society and the Cline Road Community Association will look at ways to increase the wellbeing and confidence of all who live in the area.”
Local MLA Jo-Anne Dobson condemned the burglars as “cowards”.
“The people of Banbridge are shocked and disgusted at this news,” she said. “I sincerely hope that this lady makes a full recovery from this traumatic ordeal.
“We live in a world where there is constant talk of rights, but the cowards who were responsible for this break-in didn’t care about the right of this woman to live in peace and safety in her own home.
“It is essential that these individuals are caught as soon as possible to ensure that they do not get the opportunity to terrorise another defenceless person.”
Police have appealed to anyone who noticed anything suspicious in the area to contact Mahon Road CID on 0845 600 8000. Or if someone would prefer to provide their information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.