A KATESBRIDGE pensioner beaten by burglars in his own home said he will never forget the moment they attacked him.
Eighty-five year-old George Burns was left black and blue after two men, one of whom was armed with a knife, broke into the his Aughnacloy Road home on Monday night.
He was tied to a chair and beaten in his arms, hands and wrists and the elderly victim said he could have died in the vicious attack.
The pair, described as being in their 40s and well-built, stole money from Mr Burns before making off, and he was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital for treatment.
He said he heard a noise and when he went downstairs to investigate he was confronted by the men.
“I’m lucky, they could have killed me,” he said. “I heard the door. He was looking money. I was frightened enough to tell you the truth. I knew rightly they were coming to do me harm.
“They beat the arms off me, beat the hands off me, beat everything. The fella pushed me up into the room then the next fella was standing there with a knife - and they gave me an awful beating.
“They only didn’t beat me round the head and face.”
Mr Burns added that he now feels too afraid to return to his home to spend a night there.
He said he is grateful he was not left with worse injuries.
“I have my marks here to carry on my arms and wrists but it could have been worse, I could be lying here with my eyes closed,” he said.
Local councillor Seamus Doyle, a friend of Mr Burns, said everyone in the area is disgusted at what has happened.
“These thugs broke the window down and came in and tied him in his chair and took some money,” said the Knockiveagh councillor.
“His injuries are to his wrists but the trauma of somebody going into his house and him on his own is desperate. George Burns has lived here a lot of his life, he’s a quiet gentleman who didn’t bother anybody and the local community are disgusted with this.”
South Down MLA John McCallister also condemned the assault.
He said: “The fact that one of the two individuals responsible carried a knife indicates just how dangerous these men are and how important it is that they are caught.
“I am absolutely disgusted that a man in his 80s should have the safety of his home violated and be subjected to a sickening and terrifying ordeal during which he was tied up, pushed to the ground and had a sum of cash stolen.”