Belfast Telegraph

Dublin burglar suspect in Tyrone raid that left woman (83) fighting for her life

By Robin Schiller

A 27-year-old man from Dublin has emerged as the chief suspect in a violent aggravated burglary in Co Tyrone that left a pensioner critically injured.

Pat Davidson (83) suffered a fractured skull, spine and pelvis when a four-man gang raided her home in Aughnacloy last Tuesday night.

The widow sustained the injuries when she fell from an upstairs window while attempting to flee the burglars.

The PSNI is treating the incident as attempted murder and is liaising with the Garda after a vehicle with a fake Wexford registration plate was used by the gang.

The Irish Independent reported that a prolific burglar from the Tallaght area of the city has emerged as the chief suspect.

Investigators received information that the criminal's car was in the Aughnacloy area prior to the gang breaking into Mrs Davidson's home.

The vehicle's details and registration number were given to the PSNI, which passed the information on to Garda colleagues.

In the days following the shocking crime the suspect was arrested during a high-speed chase in Co Kildare.

After being detained, the Garda's automatic number plate recognition system alerted officers that the car was being sought in relation to the Co Tyrone burglary.

The man's vehicle has been seized for forensic examination, and while he has not been formally arrested in relation to the PSNI investigation, sources said he was being treated as a chief suspect.

Mrs Davidson remains in a serious but stable condition in Craigavon Area Hospital.

Prayers were said for her at churches in Aughnacloy yesterday.

Rev Ian McKee of the local Presbyterian church, which the pensioner attends, led his congregation in prayers that the burglars would be brought to justice. "We prayed for full healing for Pat in body, mind and spirit, and asked that Jonathan and Wesley (her sons) and their respective families, together with Pat's brothers and sisters and the whole family circle, will find comfort in their distress," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

Mrs Davidson's family, who have maintained a constant vigil at her beside, were also prayed for.

Rev McKee said the family was still trying to come to terms with what had happened, but were grateful for the support of the local community and from across the province.

He urged people from the entire community to come to the weekly prayer meeting at Ballymagrane Presbyterian Church tomorrow, at 8pm, when the focus of prayer will be Mrs Davidson's recovery.

Prayers were also led for the injured woman yesterday at St Mary's Catholic Church in the village. Fr John McGoldrick said: "Mrs Davidson is a woman who is very well-known in the local community and people are very upset about what happened to her. We were thinking very much about her at our vigil Mass and again this morning (Sunday) during our prayers at Mass in Aughnacloy and Caledon."

Belfast Telegraph

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