Belfast Telegraph

Man is held after woman aged 96 attacked at home

By Brendan McDaid

Gardai investigating an attack on a 96-year-old Donegal woman at her home have arrested a man near the Londonderry border.

The 48-year-old man was detained by officers on Tuesday night in the Burt area of the Inishowen peninsula, around 10 miles away from where pensioner Gretta Lilly was assaulted.

The aggravated burglary took place in the Ardarvan area in the popular seaside town of Buncrana shortly after midnight on January 5.

The burglar, who was dressed in black with a balaclava obscuring his face, entered Ms Lilly’s home through her kitchen window.

He then went into the elderly women’s bedroom and woke her before punching her in the ribs and threatening her as he demanded cash.

She was also gagged before he made his getaway with her handbag, which containing some money and bank cards.

Two men were seen running away from the area.

The alarm was raised after the victim triggered her panic button at 12.30am.

Ms Lilly was later taken to Letterkenny General Hospital for treatment and is still being kept under observation there.

The incident has struck horror into the close-knit community in the town. A local businessman, George McLaughlin, had offered a €5,000 (£4,075) reward for|information leading to prosecution.

The arrested man has been taken to Buncrana Garda Station, where he was yesterday still being questioned by detectives investigating the attack.

Meanwhile the PSNI are hunting a ruthless gang of burglars who embarked on a four-hour crime spree, targeting elderly people in Donegal, before fleeing across the border into Londonderry on Monday.

Police believe that the violent gang are part of a crime ring operating in Derry as well as Sheffield in England.

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