Northern Ireland

Aughnacloy woman critically injured in burglary fall

Forensic officers are at a house in Sydney Street in Aughnacloy
Image caption Forensic officers are at a house in Aughnacloy where the 83-year-old woman was found in her garden

An 83-year-old woman remains in a critical condition in hospital after being seriously injured during a burglary at her home in Aughnacloy, County Tyrone, on Tuesday night.

Police believe that she may have fallen from an upstairs window while trying to escape the burglars.

Four men ransacked the woman's home in Sydney Street shortly after 21:00 GMT.

Police are treating the incident as attempted murder.

The victim was found lying injured in the garden shortly afterwards and was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital.

The four suspects made off in a black coloured car in the direction of Moore Street.

Possible link

Police are investigating a possible link between the incident and three other burglaries which happened nearby on Tuesday in:

  • Aghaloo Close in Aughnacloy
  • Richmond Park in Ballygawley
  • McDowell Terrace in Seskinore

The PSNI is also investigating a separate report of a similar suspicious vehicle.

Det Ch Insp John Caldwell described the incident as "sickening" and appealed for witnesses to come forward.

"We believe the lady may have fallen from an upstairs bedroom window while trying to escape while her house was ransacked," he said.

"We take the issue of crime against older people extremely seriously and remain committed to putting those responsible before the courts."

Shock and anger

Former councillor Sammy Brush, who knows the victim, said the local community is shocked and angry.

"This was a very callous deed," he BBC News NI.

"It is an absolute disgrace that this should happen to a woman who has worked all her life, never annoyed anyone, a very nice quiet lady."