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OAP victim of Mother's Day burglary at Forkhill home

By Allan Preston

A woman in her 80s from Forkhill was targeted in a burglary on Mother's Day when two men in their 20s searched her property while she was at home.

The shocking incident follows at least three other burglaries this month against Northern Ireland pensioners.

The latest burglary on Sunday saw two men enter the house on the rural Church Road which links the Co Armagh villages of Forkhill and Mullaghbawn.

Police said the pair entered the woman's home around 5pm. Once inside, one man talked to the woman while the other man went through several rooms looking through drawers and cupboards.

They stayed in the house for around five minutes before leaving through the front door. Nothing is believed to have been taken and the woman was not injured. Both men were described as being aged in their 20s and around 5ft 10ins tall.

Sinn Fein councillor for the area Mickey Larkin said he was disgusted by the crime. "I'm sure the lady is deeply shocked by it and I would encourage the community to report any suspicious activity to the police," he said.

"There's obviously people out there who would go to any depths to line their own pockets. To have strangers invade her home and disrupt a special day in the calendar for our mothers and grandmothers is disgusting."

Last Thursday, another woman in her 80s was held down by an intruder in her north Belfast home while a second man ransacked her bedroom and stole a small sum of money.

The attackers claimed to be police officers to gain entry to the property on Mountainhill Walk just before 12pm.

Both men, reported to have southern accents, fled the scene in a black Vauxhall Vectra.

The victim was not injured during the ordeal but was left badly shaken.

On March 12, a woman from west Belfast in her 70s was treated for shock and a cut to her head after she confronted an armed intruder in her home, forcing him and an accomplice to flee empty-handed.

It was reported to police that the two men, one armed with a screwdriver, had entered the Springfield Park house by the rear door and gained access to a utility room just before 2am.

On March 8, a married couple in their 70s from Tandragee were left tied up in their bathroom by a gang of five masked men.

The grandparents, a retired businessman and teacher, suffered cuts and bruises to their hands and wrists.

Describing the ordeal, the grandmother said: "They were roaring and shouting and I said to them, 'have you not got a mother or father, would you do this to them?'"

"One of them said, 'shut up or you'll get worse'. It was horrendous, he started waving the poker in my face."

She added: "We feared for our lives, it was very scary. I was shaking."

Detectives are investigating the gang who were also described as having southern accents.

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