Northern Ireland

Nuns attacked by intruder in west Belfast

Two nuns have been assaulted by a man who conned his way into their home in west Belfast.

The man ordered one nun to empty her purse. He then attacked her and another nun, before looking for more cash.

He forced the women into a room before running off. It happened at about 16:20 BST on Tuesday on the Falls Road.

One of the women was treated in hospital for shock, while the other sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

Appealing for information, police said the attacker was thought to be in his 40s, of stocky build and around 6ft tall.

He was wearing a dark jacket, jeans and trainers, and spoke with a local accent.

Colin Keenan, an SDLP councillor for Lower Falls, condemned the attack.

He said: "The two nuns involved in this dreadful attack have been left badly shaken following this assault in their home.

"It is appalling that two very elderly and vulnerable women in our community have had their home violated in this way. I find it despicable that anyone would prey on our elderly citizens in this way."

Appealing for anyone with information to contact the police, he added: "I condemn this assault and call for the full rigours of the law to be brought to bear on the individual responsible for this vicious crime."