Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Dementia sufferer tied up in his home by gang

The son of an 80-year-old man who was tied up by a masked gang has hit out at the thugs responsible.

Jim Calvert, who suffers from dementia, had his hands bound by cable ties during the terrifying incident at his home near Dundrod in Co Antrim.

The gang demanded money from the pensioner, but are believed to have left empty-handed.

His son Ross alerted police after calling to collect his father for the night at around 10.40pm on Tuesday.

“He stays with me at night and, when I went to pick him up, I noticed the lights were all on and dad was not sitting in his normal chair,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.

“When I looked into another room, items were scattered all over the floor.

“There was stuff tumbled out in his bedroom and the cord to the telephone had also been cut.

“I saw dad sitting and at first I thought he was okay. Then I noticed that his hands had been bound in cable ties.”

Mr Calvert said his father, who has problems with his memory, has little recollection of the ordeal.

“Dad couldn’t remember what happened initially, but bits started coming back during the night,” he added.

“He said their faces were covered but he thinks they were young, and there were at least three or four of them.

“Apparently they came up from behind him. My dad’s hard of hearing so he wouldn’t have heard them.

“It’s not right that this should happen.

“My father is vulnerable and for people to come and target him like this is wrong.”

Mr Calvert said he was thankful his father wasn’t harmed.

“You can tidy things up and put stuff away, but if my dad was left lying in hospital it would have been a different matter,” he added.

“I’m just thankful he wasn’t beaten up or physically hurt.”

It is the second time a pensioner has been attacked in the area in the last fortnight. While police have not linked the incidents, the mayor of Antrim, Paul Michael, said he was deeply concerned.

“It seems very similar. One is one too many, two in a fortnight is scary in itself,” he said.

Sinn Fein councillor Anne Marie Logue said she was outraged by the latest attack.

“I am disgusted that people are still targeting old and vulnerable people in their homes and subjecting them to a reign of terror,” she said.

Background

The burglary at Jim Calvert’s home is the second similar incident in the area within the last fortnight. On October 21 an 89-year-old woman suffered injuries to her arm after she was attacked by a gang of men at her Crumlin home. Her son-in-law who went to help was also threatened and tied up.

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