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Blind and deaf woman picked out alleged attacker, jury told

An 84-year-old woman who is both blind and deaf has told a jury how she managed to pick out her alleged attacker from a PSNI identity parade.

The grandmother was injured when she was attacked in her home in the Northland Road area of Londonderry last May.

The witness was giving evidence on the second day of the trial of Thomas Anthony Burke (50), from Eglinton Terrace in the Bogside area of the city. He denies falsely imprisoning and assaulting the woman in her home as well as stealing £180 from her. The pensioner told the Crown Court that two days after she was attacked in her home, she went to the PSNI station at Strand Road where she was shown a DVD of nine different people.

She identified the defendant as the man who is charged with committing the offences.

“It was unquestionably him. I eliminated the people who had long narrow faces and he was unquestionably the person who came into my house,” she said.

When asked by prosecution barrister John Orr QC which number in the DVD identity parade the defendant was, she replied: “He was number six”.

She also said that she suffered a nose bleed after the defendant had punched her in the face.

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The barrister said the pensioner used a curtain pole to defend herself and that a forensic examination found both her and the defendant's DNA on it.

The trial continues.


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