News

Man thought he would suffocate in aggravated burglary

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

AN aggravated burglary in Kilkeel last week has been condemned by the MP for the area.

The SDLP's Margaret Ritchie was speaking after detectives in Newry began an investigation into the incident, which took place in the Slieveshan Park area of Kilkeel which occurred around midnight on March 28.

A man in his 60s was tied up and assaulted before his head was covered with a pillowcase. The burglars then ransacked the house.

“My thoughts and that of the Kilkeel and wider South Down community are with the man who was attacked during the burglary at his home," Mrs Ritchie said of the horrific incident.

"I wish to extend my best wishes to him for a speedy recovery from both his physical and what I am sure will also be emotional injuries following this attack.

"This attack is a shock to the entire community and totally out of character for the area and its residents. I would urge anyone with information, no matter how inconsequential they think it might be to come forward with that information to the police at the earliest possible opportunity.

"Those responsible must be caught and face the full weight of the justice system. I know the community of Kilkeel will offer every support to this gentleman and I wish him a speedy recovery."

A source close to the family explained how the man thought that he was going to suffocate during the incident.

The source said: "He woke up to find these three boys stood around his bed. When he realised what was happening he tried to get up, but they forced him down and tied his legs.

"He tried to shout for help, but they stuffed something in his mouth and every time he tried to shout again they would stuff it in further.

“Then they stuck the pillowcase over his head and he really thought he was going to suffocate, so he just kept quiet.

"They also hit him about the face and head with some kind of weapon. His face is all bruised and he's an eye that's all black with a big split above it. It's a total disgrace what they've done to him."

Detective Constable Skillen said: "We received a report that two or three men entered the house of an elderly man sometime around midnight on Tuesday night.

"Once inside, the men tied up the resident, assaulted him and then covered his head with a pillowcase before proceeding to ransack the house moving through several rooms looking through drawers and cupboards.

"The men stayed in the house for around 30 minutes and left the resident tied up in his bedroom when they left the property.

"He managed to free himself and raise the alarm through a neighbour. It is believed a sum of money has been taken at this time and the resident suffered facial and head injuries.

“An investigation into this incident is ongoing and I would appeal to anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in or around the area of Slieveshan Park on Tuesday evening to contact detectives in Ardmore on 101 quoting reference number 43 29/03/17. Information can also be given anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

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