Northern Ireland

Gangs target elderly women in separate attacks in Newry and Crumlin

Two elderly women have been attacked in separate burglaries in Northern Ireland.

A 94-year-old woman was held in her bed by a man at her home in Newry at about 22:00 BST on Friday.

Another man ransacked the house at Ballyholland Road, Ballynacraig.

Just over an hour earlier at about 20:30 BST, an 89-year-old woman was attacked and injured by burglars at her home on the Antrim Road, Crumlin.

The gang hurt the woman's right arm in the attack.

Her son-in-law tried to come to her rescue. They threatened him and tied him up. It is not clear if anything was stolen. The family were too distressed to talk publicly about the burglary.

In the Newry attack, the woman's ordeal lasted about 20 minutes. Police said it appeared that nothing had been taken.

There is no suggestion that the burglaries are linked.

Sinn Fein councillor Anne-Marie Logue said she was appalled by the Crumlin attack.

"Anybody with information should bring it forward to the PSNI so that other vulnerable and elderly people are spared a similar ordeal," Ms Logue said.

"Senior citizens contribute so much to our society so it is important that we offer them protection as many are living alone and vulnerable."