Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland pensioner is beaten by gang in vicious robbery

By Cate McCurry

The family of a pensioner who was brutally beaten by a gang at his home has appealed for information after they stole a Rolex watch that was a gift from his late wife.

The 65-year-old man was kicked in the stomach and groin after he arrived home on the Rowantree Road in Dromore on Tuesday night.

The man believes the three men were already in his property when he got home at around 9.15pm. As he was getting ready for bed, the gang attacked him, forced him to open his safe and took a silver Rolex watch before locking him in his bathroom.

A mixture of 17 Coalport and Royal Doulton ornamental figures were also taken.

The victim was then forced to climb out of his bathroom window and go to his neighbours to raise the alarm.

He was taken to hospital for treatment, though has no lasting physical injuries.

His son, Sam Hunter, said that his dad was "brutally beaten and robbed".

"The three assailants, who had their faces covered, cornered him in his bedroom as he was getting ready for bed," he posted on Facebook. "They then proceeded to beat him and steal a large sum of cash and a Rolex watch.

"This watch had a great sentimental value to him as it was a gift from my late mother. We would be extremely grateful if anyone has any information to let us, or the police, know to try and get this watch back."

Craigavon PSNI appealed for information on Facebook .

"The victim deserves justice, and that undoubtedly lies with someone out there. Maybe you have seen or heard of someone looking to sell such figures?" they said.

"The people behind this sickening incident are beyond contempt. They're not 'men', they're cowardly abominations of human beings who deserve to be behind bars. What if that was your father, your grandfather, or your neighbour who was targeted? Call 101, and ask for detectives at Lurgan."

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said: "This attack is disgraceful and is yet another example of vulnerable pensioners being preyed upon by criminal thugs who are often stealing money or valuables to fund drug addictions.

"The people who carry out such crimes against our vulnerable elderly are despicable cowards who need to be caught and brought to justice."

Alliance MLA Trevor Lunn said: "This is absolutely disgraceful. Why these people have to use extreme violence against a man of this age is beyond belief."

DUP MLA Edwin Poots said: "This has been a traumatic incident against a man who was minding his own business. The violence used by the criminals was of significant concern."

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