Belfast Telegraph

Shock as pensioner dies a day after being found badly beaten

By Aaron Tinney

A quiet pensioner has died a day after he was found badly beaten in his small flat.

John Trolan (71) passed away in hospital hours after police investigating his attack issued an appeal for information on his movements before he was assaulted.

Mr Trolan had been discovered "seriously injured" at his Mark Street flat, Newtownards at around 10.30am on Thursday.

He was taken to hospital by ambulance after locals spoke of their shock that anyone would want to target the pensioner.

The exact nature of his injuries or how he came to sustain them have not been detailed by police.

However, it is believed he was badly beaten up and kicked.

A neighbour in the narrow terraced street where Mr Trolan lived, who did not want to be named, said two of Mr Trolan's close relatives had recently died.

They added: "He's a quiet wee man. But when we saw the ambulance, we thought, 'Oh God, he's hurt himself, fallen or something'."

Officers yesterday stressed that finding out about Mr Trolan's movements in the hours before he was found unconscious in his home could be key to identifying his attacker or attackers.

Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Talbot said: "John Trolan was found injured in his Mark Street home at around 10.30am on Thursday, June 8.

"He was taken to hospital by ambulance and was receiving treatment for his injuries but sadly, he has now died."

A post mortem will now be carried out to determine the cause of death.

DCI Talbot added: "I would like to reiterate my appeal for information. We are keen to trace John's movements in the hours before he was found unconscious in his home.

"We know that he was seen at around 10.30am on Wednesday, June 7. At this time he was well and uninjured.

"We need to know what happened between then and Thursday morning.

"I would urge anyone who may have seen or spoken to Mr Trolan between 10.30am on Wednesday and 10.30am yesterday to please get in touch, you may have information that could prove vital.

"Was John out and about?

"Was he alone or in company?

"Did you speak to him by phone or in person?

"Any small piece of information could provide the lead detectives need."

Officers received a report at 2.40pm on Thursday that a man had been admitted to hospital earlier that morning with serious injuries.

Forensics officers worked at the scene along with plain clothes detectives and uniformed officers.

Locals said Mr Trolan had lived alone for more than six years in the ground floor flat of the Mark Street property, one of a block of four small apartments sharing a communal entrance hall and staircase.

Residents last night told of their shock as news of the incident spread.

One neighbour said of Mr Trolan: "John keeps himself to himself, he's no bother.

"I can't fathom why anyone would want to do the like of that to him."

Anyone with information on the case should call 101, quoting reference 747 08/06/17.

Calls can also be made anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

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