An elderly woman has described men armed with knives who forced their way into her Edanmount Park home during the early hours of Friday morning as ‘ruthless’.
The woman, who is in her eighties and asked not to be named, shares the house with her older sister who requires 24 hour care after suffering a stroke five years ago.
“They were completely ruthless, they showed no regard for me or my sister. I was scared for myself but I was more concerned about my sister who was asleep in bed,” she said.
“The whole incident must have lasted almost an hour but the only person I was concerned about was my sister - she can’t take care of herself and I was worried about what they would do to her.”
The incident occurred at around 2a.m. on Friday when the woman answered a knock at her front door.
Two men armed with knives burst into the sisters’ home and demanded money. When the younger of the two sisters told the men that they had no money they proceeded to ransack her home.
“One of them kept stabbing the wall and the door with his knife, when I told him to stop he said that he’d stick the knife into me if I didn’t shut up.
“They went into all of the rooms in the house and they slashed the chair that my sister sits in during the day.
“When they were leaving they smashed the front glass of my China display cabinet and destroyed my television.
“When they came into the house they cut the phone line so after they left I wasn’t able to phone the police. I had to wait until the morning time for one of the carers to come to the house.
“I am so thankful to the carers and the social worker - they really did everything and contacted the police and my family for me.”
The woman said that she is now afraid to answer her front door and urged older people in Derry to be wary.
“I wouldn’t want anyone going through what I went through and I will never answer my door after dark again.”
SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan condemned the actions of the “two thugs” who committed the brutal attack on two elderly sisters. Mr. Durkan said:
“The actions of these two young thugs will have shocked and distressed many people living in the Glen area. Indeed I know the two ladies who were attacked and I wish them a speedy recovery from their horrific ordeal.
“Those that carried out this burglary showed no compassion for one of the ladies who is bedridden and unable to speak or walk. When they were told the sisters had no money, rather than walking away these mindless individuals proceeded to cut the phone line, trash furniture, steal jewellery and turn the place over.
“This community is extremely close-knit and will be horrified by the relentless brutality of this attack. This type of behaviour is abhorrent and not to be tolerated. I would appeal to anyone who knows anything about this incident to come forward and speak to the police. I also appeal to people to be vigilant particularly when answering their doors late at night and for neighbours to look out for elderly people living in their street.”
Sinn Fein councillor Barney O’Hagan said: “I would call on anybody who saw anything suspicious or has any information to bring it to the police. Those behind this attack must be taken off our streets to ensure there can be no repeat of this.”