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Outrage as terrified OAP held down by thief during burglary at her home

By Brett Campbell

A woman in her 80s feared for her life as she was held down by an intruder in her north Belfast home while a second man ransacked her bedroom in a "disgusting" burglary.

The two thugs gained entry to the property on Mountainhill Walk just before 12pm yesterday after they knocked on the door claiming to be police officers.

SDLP councillor Paul McCusker condemned the burglary, which he described as "serious and very concerning".

"This is a disgusting attack on the most vulnerable by opportunists who prey on the elderly and as a community we have to look out for people," he said.

The men, one believed to be aged in his 40s and the other in his 20s, pushed past the elderly woman when she answered the door.

One of the perpetrators held her down as his accomplice raided her bedroom before the pair left with a purse containing a small sum of money.

Both men, who are reported to have southern accents, fled the scene in a black-coloured Vauxhall Vectra that made off along Ligoniel Road in the direction of Nutts Corner.

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

Mr McCusker visited the woman in her home yesterday afternoon, where she was being comforted by family members.

"She said she is very, very shocked and that she feared for her life," he explained.

"The men claimed to be police officers before making their way into the house."

The Oldpark councillor said the woman described how she was told "we have to do this" by the man who held her down as his accomplice searched the house for valuables.

"She was scared they were going to hurt her and told them that her sons were on their way to the house," Mr McCusker added.

"She shouted 'get you down the stairs' to one of the thieves who was in her bedroom.

"Anything could have happened this poor woman. The shock alone could have killed her."

He encouraged people to look out for their elderly neighbours and urged householders to lock their doors due to an increase of anti-social behaviour in the area, but he warned this recent incident was much more serious.

"I was going to people's doors last night and have issued appeals on social media warning of the danger, but this is worse than recent incidents," Mr McCusker added.

Police appealed for anyone with any information about the incident to contact detectives in Musgrave on 101, quoting reference number 393 23/03/17.

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