Belfast Telegraph

OAP's plea for mercy ignored as burglars hit him with hammer

By Claire Williamson

A pensioner begged intruders to "take what you want, just don't hurt me" as they beat him with a hammer, gagged him and tied him up at his Co Down home.

Clifford Mooney had returned from a prayer meeting on Tuesday night when he was attacked by robbers in his home at Slieveshan Park in Kilkeel.

The 69-year-old had a belt put around his neck, a towel rammed down his throat and was tied up. He has been left badly bruised and unable to eat because of the injuries to his throat.

Speaking from his hospital bed, Mr Mooney said he had returned from church and fell asleep after watching the news. He woke up suddenly to find three men in his room.

He said they lunged at him and grabbed him by the throat before hitting him over the head. They attacked him and stole his wallet, containing his pension.

He told Radio Ulster's Stephen Nolan Show: "They didn't say anything and put a pillow case over my head, then they took it off and put a towel in my mouth.

"When they had me tied up I said: 'I don't have very much, take what you want but don't harm me'. They drove a fist into me when I said that and hit me with a hammer.

"If I said anything more they would have pushed the towel further down. Had it been any further I would never have spoken again... I would have suffocated.

"I pleaded with them and they shoved the towel further down my throat every time I said something."

Mr Mooney believes the attackers had been watching him and knew he had gone to church.

He added: "Maybe they were even in the house already, I didn't put a light on coming in.

"I'm very sore around my ribs and my feet and my neck and my head. My eye is all black and blue. I was never as glad to get out of my house in my life.

"When I found out they left I struggled until I got free and went to the woman next door and she called the police."

Mr Mooney hasn't been able to eat since the attack.

"My throat and my mouth and all was slain that bad with them shoving the towel into me," he explained.

"I am disabled because I've not much energy when walking and I've a thing under my skin for my heart, and a wee key with me in case I take a heart attack."

Police are appealing for witnesses to contact detectives at Ardmore on 101 quoting reference number 43 29/03/17.

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