An elderly and disabled man is fighting for his life in hospital after being attacked by three burglars in his home early today.
The man, named locally as Eugene Carr, was taken to Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry and has since been transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital, where he is surrounded by close family.
Three men attacked the pensioner in the bedroom of his home in the Clogheraven Park area of Bessbrook.
Detectives are appealing for information.
Detective Inspector Harry Colgan said at around 2.40am police received a report that three men had broken into a house and entered a bedroom, where the elderly, disabled male occupant of the house was in bed.
He added: “They then proceeded to assault him with a sharp implement. He received several wounds to his body as a result of this assault. He has been taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries. It is believed that a sum of money was stolen.
“I would appeal to anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the area or who has any information to contact Detectives at Newry on the non-emergency number 101.
“Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Newry and Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin has condemned the attack.
Mr Irwin said: “I am shocked and sickened to learn of this brutal attack on an elderly, defenceless, disabled gentleman in his own home. Words fail me to describe the savagery that has been visited on him.
“I wish him a speedy recovery from this ordeal and would urge the public to immediately contact the PSNI if they have any information regarding this attack.
“It is unacceptable that a man as vulnerable as this has been attacked in this way and it is a serious indictment on anyone who would stoop so low as to harm a vulnerable person.”
Councillor Roisin Mulgrew has also expressed her disgust at the attack.
“It is absolutely horrendous to think that anyone would break into this man’s home in the middle of the night and attack him in such a way,” she said.
“I work closely with and know the Bessbrook community well and to say that everyone is repulsed by this attack would be an understatement.
“I have no doubt that this serious assault will leave those older and more vulnerable residents feeling fearful. I would would appeal to anyone with information to please come forward to ensure that the perpetrators are caught and charged. I would also encourage people to look out for their elderly or vulnerable neighbours.
“I wish the victim of the attack and his family my full support and hope that he makes a full recovery.”
Ulster Unionist MLA, Danny Kennedy has appealed for anyone with any information to contact the PSNI.
Mr Kennedy said: “This was a despicable act and I am horrified that a gang would target an elderly, disabled man. I wish the gentleman well as he recovers from his injuries.
“There is no place in society for behaviour like this and those responsible need to be taken off the streets. I would appeal to anyone who has any information that will help the PSNI catch those responsible to contact the police immediately.”
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