Rural Crime: 'I feel afraid in my own home... the slightest noise spooks me'
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As part of the Independent.ie series on rural crime, we are looking for readers stories and experiences.
Reader Siobhan Kelly wrote in to share her experience.
"I've been reading your articles on rural crime and my heart goes out to those people living in terror. I too was a victim of crime last year. On a Sunday morning in June I met a burglar in our kitchen - I mistook him for my brother who was due to visit that morning from the U.S. as I was not wearing my glasses. It was only when I was right up behind him and he turned around that I realised it was an intruder.
I screamed and grabbed at him (still in shock that I did this!) A struggle ensued of which I have very little recollection but I was left with bruises up my arm and on my chin. I chased the burglar to the gate and stopped as my husband and son came in the scene. After shouting a few obscenities at me, the burglar took off, dropping both sets of car keys as he left.
Later that night we found the "loot" taken from our house on the back seat of one of our cars along with the crowbar which he used to gain access. He was not alone we later discovered and other houses in our ring of bungalows were also attempted to be burgled that night.
The whole episode, despite having happened over a year ago, has left me very fearful in my own home. If I wake during the night I would not go up to the kitchen for a glass of water for example. I alarm and lock the doors at all times much to the annoyance of my family.
My point is however, that I live in an urban area (Ashbourne), with plenty of neighbours, a Garda station and a full household- ( I live with my husband and two adult children) and yet I still feel afraid in my home.
The slightest noise still spooks me and I don't know how many times I ask them to turn down the TV as " I think I heard something ". So, I just can't imagine how awful it must be for people living alone, with no near neighbours or no Garda station nearby to protect them.