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Anger as pensioner's wedding ring stolen from her hand in burglary

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 12/10/2015

The theft of an elderly woman's wedding ring by a gang of masked men has been described as loathsome by police.

Anna McGuckin had her wedding ring taken from her hand during the aggravated burglary at her Magherafelt home on Friday.

The 83-year-old was in her bedroom when four men broke into her home in the Queen's Avenue area at about 7.30pm

Two men ransacked her house while the other two remained with her in her bedroom.

They left with her wedding ring and other items of jewellery.

The victim's son Ian described the gang behind it as "scum".

"I just want them to give back the rings, they have huge sentimental value.

"And I'd say: 'Take a look at what you've done. You're scum'."

Det Sgt David Halliwell said the burglary had been "loathsome".

"Any crime in which older people are the victims is despicable, but taking a treasured wedding band from the hand of an elderly lady is a particularly loathsome act," he said.

"We believe the males involved in this incident were aged in their late teens and were wearing knitted hats with scarves around their faces."

Police have urged anyone with information to contact them.

UUP councillor George Sheils condemned the robbery.

"This was a very upsetting incident. To have an elderly woman go through that and having such things like jewellery taken that will no doubt have huge sentimental value.

"It is frightening to think there are people who feel it is acceptable to do this to a vulnerable woman in her own home," he said.

The robbery comes after burglars broke into the home of Muriel Diffin - also 83 - while she was burying her husband in August.

Shortly after Muriel had left her home in Milford, Co Armagh, on August 17 for he husband Espie's funeral, burglars ransacked the property and stole his wedding ring.

The gold signet ring was among several items stolen in the break-in and the 83-year-old has been left "distraught", saying that the theft has compounded her grief.

The burglars also escaped with cash, a credit card, a brooch, pearls, a bracelet and a man's Limit watch.

Muriel has appealed to the thieves to return the stolen wedding ring.

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