Belfast Telegraph

Masked robbers Tasered my 78-year-old father and stuck a gun in my mouth

BY ADRIAN RUTHERFORD

A man has described the terrifying moment when robbers shot him and his 78-year-old father with a Taser gun before tying them up during a raid on their home.

The masked gang, who were also armed with a long-barrelled gun and an axe, burst into the house in north Belfast on Sunday night, subjecting the men to a shocking ordeal lasting over an hour.

At one point the robbers put the firearm inside the younger man's mouth and demanded he hand over money.

They eventually left with the family's black BMW car, a quantity of cash and jewellery.

The 28-year-old victim said the robbers didn't care that they had targeted a pensioner.

"My dad's 78 – they did that to a 78-year-old man," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"They Tasered him, hit him with a gun a few times around the legs, and Tasered me as well.

"They must have known what age he was but they didn't care."

The robbery occurred at their home on North Circular Road at around 9.30pm on Sunday.

Three men brandishing the firearm, axe and stun gun entered the property, attacked the men and demanded money.

The victim added: "I was sitting in my bedroom and two armed men came in and said 'get down'.

"I thought it was my mates joking about.

"They tied me up and then brought me into my dad's room and made me lie down on the floor.

"My dad was sitting on the bed.

"One of them Tasered me and the other stuck the gun in my mouth and asked 'where's the money?'.

"They looked around the house for a bit, tied us up and left us in the room.

"It lasted about an hour, maybe an hour-and-a-half."

The man suffered bruising to his face but was not seriously injured.

"My face is a bit sore, but otherwise I'm okay," he added.

"It was terrifying but it could have been worse.

"I think my dad's more annoyed about the car than anything else because it means he's stuck in the house."

SDLP councillor Patrick Convery, who chairs the North Belfast Policing and Community Safety Partnership, said it was a cruel and vicious attack.

"There is no excuse for this type of callous attack," he said.

"The use of firearms, axes and a stun gun is particularly chilling. It is imperative that police act quickly to apprehend these dangerous, reckless criminals before someone else is hurt.

"One of the biggest issues in this community is fear of crime. This incident will have only increased that anxiety among residents."

North Belfast DUP MLA Nelson McCausland said it was a particularly vicious, nasty and brutal robbery.

"Those responsible have caused physical injury to innocent people in pursuit of their selfish criminal gain," he said.

"This innocent family have been put through a terrifying and traumatic ordeal.

"The entire community is outraged and disgusted by this crime and is unified in calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

"These thugs are a gross danger to society and they must be caught and put behind bars where they belong."

A PSNI spokesman said the robbers' car was last seen travelling on the Spring- field Road towards the Monagh by-pass area of west Belfast.

Detectives urged anyone who witnessed the robbery or noticed suspicious activity in the area around the time of the incident to contact them on 0845 600 8000. Information can also be passed to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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