Northern Ireland

Tyrone farm robbery: Sproule family in Clady left terrified

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Media captionFarmer Sam Sproule suffered a cut to the head

A family of elderly farmers that was robbed in County Tyrone has said it was a "very frightening" experience.

Ethna Sproule, 76, was thrown to the ground by a masked man and her brother Sam suffered a minor head injury.

It happened just before 18:00 GMT on Monday when four men entered the family farm in Clady on the Tullymoan Road.

The thieves ransacked the house before leaving in a black car with a small sum of money.

'Terrible'

Ethna said she was upstairs in her home when a man entered through the front door.

"He just come in the door with a graip in his hand and he told me to sit down and when I got up he threw me down on the floor.

"I ran outside and phoned the police. My sister was upstairs too and she's not very well.

"We're in our 70s, just think how awful they are to do such a thing. Terrible," she said.

Image caption Ethna Sproule said she and her sister Kathleen were left terrified

'Scumbags'

Ethna said her brother, Sam, was attacked while he was out in the yard.

"Four big men all covered up so I couldn't see anything, they threw my brother down outside in the manure where the cattle was and cut his head, very frightening indeed.

"Scumbags that's what they are, I hope they're caught soon."

PSNI Ch Insp Andy Lemon said he was disgusted at the attack on the Sproule family.

"I'm actually horrified that three men would force their way in to the home of elderly people and terrorise them in this way, it's an absolute disgrace.

"They terrorised an elderly person with a pitchfork, they've pushed one male down outside, he has slight injuries, and they pushed another lady down.

"I just hope the community helps us find these people and bring them to justice."

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