Belfast Telegraph

Masked gang raid home of 90-year-old woman in east Belfast

By David Young

A 90-year-old woman has been left badly shaken after masked thieves broke into her home and stole her handbag and a sum of money.

The burglary took place in the Abbey Park area of east Belfast on Thursday evening, said Detective Sergeant James Johnston of the PSNI, who is leading the investigation.

East Belfast DUP councillor Gavin Robinson condemned those behind the break-in and called for tougher sentences for crimes against the elderly.

The former Lord Mayor said: "This is a disgraceful and cowardly attack on a defenceless woman in her own home.

"To enter her house with their faces covered and steal her handbag leaves not just this lady shaken, but spreads fear amongst many other older people," he said.

"We must crack down on those who would break into the homes of older people and tougher sentences must be handed down.

"This crime took place in a busy residential area so it is possible that those responsible may have been seen. I would urge anyone who might have information to pass it on to the police so that the culprits can be apprehended and face the full weight of the law."

The brazen attack is the latest in a series of shocking incidents involving crimes against vulnerable elderly people.

A recent DUP policy paper proposes a minimum seven-year prison sentence for any person who attacks and physically injures an older person in their home. Entitled Tough, But Fair it was unveiled in February.

Police are appealing for witnesses and want anyone with information to contact Musgrave St CID on 101 or on the Crimestoppers line on 0800 555111.

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