Masked men attack couple in rural home

A Banbridge couple have been left in shock after five masked men ransacked their home on Sunday night (January 26).

Shortly after 10.11pm, it was reported that five masked men entered a house in the Castlevennon Road area, with one man armed with a suspected firearm.

It is believed that a male and female inside the house were tied up during the incident.

The male was assaulted with the firearm and a sum of money was taken during the incident.

Both occupants were left badly shaken and taken to a nearby hospital following the incident.

Local councillors have condemned the incident and are urging anyone with information to contact the police as a matter of urgency.

Ulster Unionist Councillor Glenn Barr has said that it is vital that people in the rural community are vigilant and is encouraging residents to form a rural watch group to tackle rising crime in the area.

“I would encourage everyone to be vigilant,” said Mr Barr. “People need to look after each other and if anyone is interested in forming a rural watch group, I would urge them to contact the police in Banbridge.

“People in the local community need to come together and if anyone feels they are vulnerable to these sort of attacks, it is important they contact the police for advice on securing their properties.”

SDLP Councillor Seamus Doyle also condemned the attack on the local couple and asked anyone with information to make themselves known to the police as soon as possible.

“This was really bad for those involved and I hope they make a full recovery,” said Mr Doyle. “I was very shocked when I heard about this and if anyone knows anything, I would ask them to contact the PSNI. There seems to be a rise in rural crime in recent weeks and I will be asking the police to be as vigilant as they can.”

Police can be contacted on 0845 600 8000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.