Belfast Telegraph

Ttyrone woman (91) won't give in to thugs after third burglary

A 91-year-old pensioner says she won't be driven out of her rural Co Tyrone home despite being burgled for the third time
A 91-year-old pensioner says she won't be driven out of her rural Co Tyrone home despite being burgled for the third time
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

A 91-year-old pensioner says she won't be driven out of her rural Co Tyrone home despite being burgled for the third time.

Gertie Primrose, from the Mullaghfad Road area of Cooneen, near Fivemiletown, was left shaken and upset after intruders burst into her home at around 8pm on Friday evening.

During her ordeal, one of the men stayed with Ms Primrose while a second searched the house and the third went back outside and stayed with a car, described as being silver/gold in colour.

Yesterday, she recalled the distressing incident.

"They went through the cupboards, pulled out drawers and searched in the hot press," the pensioner told the Belfast Telegraph.

"I kicked one of them and shouted at him to get out of my house and they left empty handed."

All three then fled in the vehicle and nothing was reported as being taken.

This is the third time she has had to deal with intruders.

Thirteen weeks ago, a man ransacked her home and made off with a small sum of money from her bedroom.

The first break-in took place 19 years ago, when two men broke into her home and physically held her down before making off with a minor amount of cash.

Despite not being threatened or physically hurt during the latest incident, Ms Primrose said she remains determined to stay at her home of more than 70 years.

But she will be more cautious in future and now feels like a prisoner in her own home.

As a result, she won't be opening the door to anyone unless they can prove who they are.

"I'm afraid to open the door to anyone now. I'll be locking up early and asking people to shout out their name and where they're from before I let them in. It's sad, but that's the way it has to be now," she said. "People like me living out in the countryside on my own are easy targets. I'm angry that anyone would stoop so low - they must have nothing better to do.

"They should be ashamed of themselves, but I won't give in to rogues like them," she added.

One of the suspects is described as being approximately 5'10" tall, of slim build with a long slim face and a fair complexion. He wore a grey jacket with a tinge of brown, possibly a fleece, and spoke with a local accent. He is thought to be aged in his 30s or 40s.

Ulster Unionist councillor Victor Warrington said local people had been shocked by the latest attack on Ms Primrose.

"It is very sad that anyone would target an elderly woman in this way. She is a very brave and resilient woman and thankfully she was not harmed," he said.

Police, who have described the incident as a "despicable attack", have urged anyone with information to contact them via 101.

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