An 82-year-old woman has fought off two men who attacked her while trying to burgle her east Belfast home.
On a weekend that three pensioners across Northern Ireland were targeted, Maisie Chapman called the attacks “a disgrace”.
The widow fought with her fists, feet and a brush as they ransacked her home for money.
She said she prayed as one slapped her face and held her on a bed while covering her mouth.
The former C&C worker, who has lived in Oberon Street for 50 years, was resting downstairs at around 4.30pm on Saturday when she saw a man in her hallway.
“He put his hand on my shoulder and said he was a policeman investigating burglaries” she told the Belfast Telegraph.
“He said ‘we are here to look after you’. But I saw the light was on upstairs and I could hear someone in my bedroom. I said ‘you’re not a policeman’ and I went upstairs and saw another man had all the drawers pulled out.”
She said the second man demanded cash. “I could just see the back of one of them pilfering a suitcase of clean pullovers so I lifted my foot and kicked him hard up the backside,” she said.
“The first man had his arm round my waist and threw me on to my bed. He slapped me hard across the face then he put his big hands over my mouth.
“He was a very strong man and well spoken. I remember shouting ‘Oh Lord help me, Lord help me’.
“I lifted my fist and banged him, then I grabbed the brush and hit him with it.”
Mrs Chapman broke free and ran downstairs.
“He threw a suitcase down after me but I got out the door and across the road to my neighbour and we called the police,” she said.
Mrs Chapman said the only money in her home was £30 in coins in a missionary collection box, but they left it. It is her third burglary in five years.
On Friday evening three men forced their way into a 77-year-old woman’s house on Windsor Avenue in Lisburn. They ransacked rooms before fleeing.
In Dromore a woman in her 80s was held up by three men in her home close to the town centre around 6pm on Friday.They made off with a sum of cash
The same gang, armed with an iron bar and a knife, are believed to have attacked a man in his 50s in Edenderry around 7.30pm. The man suffered head injuries.
Cash was taken from the house.