Man goes on trial for imprisoning and robbing 83-year-old woman

A 50-year-old man has gone on trial at Derry Crown Court charged with falsely imprisoning, assaulting and stealing from an 83-year-old woman.

Thomas Anthony Samuel Burke, from Eglinton Terrace, is alleged to have committed the offences in the woman's home on the Northland Road last May.

One hundred and eighty pounds was stolen from the lady who is registered blind and wears two hearing aids.
A 83-year-old woman told Derry Crown Court today how she tried to fight off an intruder who had entered her home last May by attacking him with a curtain pole.

50-year-old Thomas Samuel Anthony Burke of Eglinton Terrace in Derry was charged with stealing from the woman, falsely imprisoning her and assaulting her on May 20 last year.

The court heard that the woman was in her home in the Northland Road area at around 8.30 p.m. when there was a loud knocking at the door. She told how she asked who it was and the person used the name of her son.

Thinking it was something to do with her son she opened the door and the intruder pushed her in and pressed his arm against her throat.

The woman said she asked the intruder if it was money he wanted and she gave him money from her purse but he demanded 'the rest.'

She said she tried telling him there was no more but he wouldn't listen.

The jury of eight women and four men was told that the woman grabbed a curtain pole and stuck it into the intruder's stomach and then wrestled with him for it.

She also said she brought her knee up into his groin and added that he 'grunted but I didn't get him hard enough.'

The woman said she would never forget his face and said he was 'horrible and dead ugly.'

The court heard that while the intruder was searching through the house the woman tried to run out but he stopped her at the door and that she tried to scratch him and bite him but he hit her in the face knocking her hearing aid out.

The trial is expected to last into next week.