Northern Ireland

86-year-old woman attacked and robbed in north Belfast

An 86-year-old woman who was assaulted and robbed at her north Belfast home may have been followed by her attacker, police believe.

The incident happened in the Skegoneill area at about 14:00 BST on Tuesday.

The woman had been at a post office in Belfast city centre before getting a bus to the Cavehill Road and walking the short distance to her house.

Her attacker grabbed her handbag, pulling her to the ground and dragging her along it to get the bag.

The pensioner was very shaken and was treated by ambulance staff at her home.

She had only been in her house about 30 seconds before there was a tap on the door.

When she answered it a man said he had been cutting down trees on waste ground at the back and asked for access through her house to get to her garden to check that nothing had fallen into her garden.

She refused to let him into the house, but said he could go into the back garden via a side path.

She followed him down the path, at which point he attacked her.

He went back to the front of the house with her bag, which contained cash, bank cards and personal belongings, then walked towards the Old Cavehill Road where he was seen meeting up with another man.

They both then continued walking down the Old Cavehill Road towards the Antrim Road.

The robber was described as in his early 30s, tall, dark, slim, with dark eyes, one of the eyes described as "funny-looking".

He spoke with an Irish accent and was wearing blue jeans and a blue top. The other was described as similar looking.