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'Despicable' Horror as 88-year-old man attacked in home one week after partner dies

It is suspected the men may have targeted Tommy after seeing Eileen's death notice in the paper, in an attempt to get her prescription drugs, which they falsely believed may have been still in the house.

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Tommy McDowell (88) bravely fought off scumbags who entered his home on Saturday night

Tommy McDowell (88) bravely fought off scumbags who entered his home on Saturday night

Tommy McDowell (88) bravely fought off scumbags who entered his home on Saturday night

The PSNI are investigating a shocking incident in which an 88-year-old man was beaten by thugs who forced their way into his home just days after his partner died.

Tommy McDowell, who lives in the Granville Gardens area of Banbridge, was attacked on Saturday night when he was upstairs in his home.

The incident happened just one week after Tommy's partner of three decades, Eileen, passed away from cancer.

Brave Tommy fought back against the intruders who then fled the house shortly after they entered at around 7pm.

The intruders left with a wallet and two phones which they later discarded.

Tommy explained: "I was lying on top of the bed having a wee doze and I heard someone in the room. I thought it was my son, Gary, or daughter, Mandy, but when I got up I saw the figure of a stout fella and there was a young fella with him.”

When the men tried to pin Tommy to the bed, he said: "I put my foot against his stomach and pushed him back against the wardrobe but he caught my arm to stop me throwing punches."

Tommy was later treated at Craigavon Area Hospital for cuts and bruises sustained during the attack.

A 47-year-old man has been arrested by police in connection with the incident on suspicion of burglary and assault.

It is suspected the men may have targeted Tommy after seeing Eileen's death notice in the paper, in an attempt to get her prescription drugs, which they falsely believed may have been still in the house.

Ulster Unionist councillor, Glenn Barr, said he was "absolutely gobsmacked at the level these people have stooped to."

He asked the public to remain vigilant and lock their prescription drugs away.

Detective Sgt James Johnston of the PSNI said: "This was a nasty, despicable act on the victim. The suspect chose to attack a vulnerable man and subjected him to a horrendous ordeal. It must have been terrifying for him."

He asked anyone with information about the attack to come forward and call 101 referencing 1584 of 20/02/21.

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