Belfast Telegraph

Hunt begins for 'coward' who pulled elderly Northern Ireland woman from car in robbery

By Angela Rainey

A heartless thug who dragged a woman in her 80s from her car on a driveway in Lisburn, and then robbed her, has been branded a coward.

The pensioner was violently yanked from her vehicle as she parked at the property on Hillsborough Old Road at 5.15pm on Saturday by a man with a southern Irish accent.

Described as being around 5ft 8ins tall, of stocky build, with stubble and wearing a brown tweed coat, the attacker made off with a holdall containing cash and jewellery.

Detectives investigating the crime said the elderly victim was left extremely shaken by her ordeal but did not sustain any physical injuries. Lisburn DUP councillor Jonathan Craig said the act was a "coward's crime" and that he suspected the thug had planned the attack.

He commented: "The area itself is near the Lissue Industrial Estate with fields on one side, the River Lagan and the hospital.

"Whoever did this more than likely timed their actions as during the week it is busy with people using the industrial estate but during the weekend it is not really a road you would go down unless you lived there.

"It's quite secluded so it could have been done deliberately."

Mr Craig continued: "We had a spate of these in Hillsborough a year ago and the police worked to arrest and prosecute a gang which was responsible.

"It is always shocking to hear of these things - it's desperate really.

"I feel for the victim - it is unfortunate as it is easy for criminals to target anyone anywhere in that vicinity as you are not far from Sprucefield and then you could go straight on down and across the border."

Mr Craig said he had been in the area six months ago to canvass, so is familiar with the locality, and that there are a number of small residential areas dotted along Hillsborough Old Road.

He stated that he would be working with detectives to help ensure the culprit was caught.

"I absolutely condemn what's happened to this individual here," Mr Craig continued.

"It will be very traumatic for them and they have my complete sympathies.

"But one thing I will endeavour to do is to ensure that the police both trace and bring to justice whoever did this.

"It's a heinous crime. When I think about it, it is disgusting that they have targeted the most vulnerable in our society, an elderly woman who could not have defended herself.

"A woman who should be safe and sound in her car on a driveway, not being physically manhandled.

"This is a coward's crime."

Northern Ireland's Commissioner for Older People, Eddie Lynch, added: "I am very concerned to hear of the incident in Lisburn.

"Any crime against the elderly of a violent nature is abhorrent.

"I will be speaking with the PSNI to seek further information in relation to this."

Anyone with information is asked to ring 101, quoting reference number 1118 07/10/17.

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