Belfast Telegraph

£10,000 reward offered to catch Bertie Acheson's killer

By David Young

A reward of £10,000 has been offered to catch a burglar who murdered a pensioner as he struggled to protect his disabled wife.

Bertie Acheson (72) collapsed and died after confronting the intruder in his home in Coleraine. A post-mortem examination found he died of a heart attack.

Leaving him for dead, the burglar then snatched a purse containing £375 belonging to Mr Acheson's wife Sheila (70), who was in the bedroom of the couple's Glenmore Gardens home.

Bin collections in the area have been suspended indefinitely as police hunt for clues, in particular the purse itself.

Mrs Acheson suffers from severe arthritis and her husband was her primary carer. Police are treating her husband’s death in the early hours of Monday morning as a murder.

In a message to the killer, DCI Ian Harrison said: “It’s key that you do come forward to us. There’s a grieving family out there whose life has just imploded.”

Independent charity Crimestoppers has put up the reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the attacker.

Chairman of Crimestoppers' NI committee Paul Leighton said: “This was a cowardly act carried out against two vulnerable people and has left a community badly shaken and extremely angry.

“The person who committed this crime should not be allowed to get away with it and must be brought to justice, so I am appealing for anyone with information to contact Crimestoppers anonymously.

“We don't want to know who you are, only what you know.”

Mr Acheson's daughter, Sandra Creelman, has spoken of the family's devastation.

“This has been a nightmare,” she said earlier this week.

Factfile

The suspect is described as being approximately 6ft, was wearing a dark top with a collar and thick cuffs, grey jogging bottoms and a coat covering his waist. Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through a secure online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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