Thursday 19 July 2018

Battered with his walking stick: grandad (94) terrorised by vicious thugs in his own home

'I had to go in Sunday night to get their tablets and the house was destroyed, they turned it upside down' - says son-in-law

Jimmy Campion (inset) was attacked when two men broke into his home on Sunday night
Jimmy Campion (inset) was attacked when two men broke into his home on Sunday night
The scene of the attack in Roscrea, Co Tipperary. Photo: Mark Condren
Gardai at the house of Jimmy Campion who was injured in an aggravated burglary in Roscrea, Co Tipperary. Photo: Mark Condren
John Gleeson outside the house of the aggravated burglary in Roscrea, Co Tipperary. Photo: Mark Condren
The scene of the burglary in Roscrea, Co Tipperary
The house on the Old Dublin Road, Roscrea where an elderly couple were assaulted overnight. Picture: Mark Condren
The house on the Old Dublin Road, Roscrea where an elderly couple were assaulted overnight. Picture: Mark Condren
Concerned local Margaret Doyle. Photo: Mark Condren
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

Burglars smashed a walking stick over the head of a 94-year-old man during a violent robbery at his home in Roscrea, Co Tipperary.

The man, named locally as Jimmy Campion, was in the kitchen of his small terraced bungalow on the Old Dublin Road in the town when two men broke in through a side window at around 11.45pm on Sunday.

His wife Maura (87) was in the bedroom when the burglary happened.

The two men attacked the grandfather, grabbed his walking stick off him and hit him twice in the head, his family believe.

Victim Jimmy Campion
Victim Jimmy Campion

The burglars then ransacked the house and escaped with a sum of money.

The elderly couple are particularly shaken after the attack.

"His walking stick was broken in two on the kitchen floor, we think they may have hit him with it," the victim's son-in-law, Harry Wall, told the Irish Independent.

Destroyed

The house on the Old Dublin Road, Roscrea where an elderly couple were assaulted overnight. Picture: Mark Condren
The house on the Old Dublin Road, Roscrea where an elderly couple were assaulted overnight. Picture: Mark Condren

"I had to go in on Sunday night afterwards with gardaí to get their tablets, and the house was destroyed.

"They turned it upside down."

The couple's daughter also told how the two thugs had no regard for their victims.

"My mother told me she went into the kitchen, she must have heard the commotion," said Evelyn Wall.

The scene of the burglary in Roscrea, Co Tipperary
The scene of the burglary in Roscrea, Co Tipperary

"'They brushed past me and into the bedroom like they lived here', she told me. Isn't that just shocking?"

Mrs Campion raised the alarm with gardaí and ambulance services.

Mr Campion remained conscious but was bleeding heavily from his head wound and he was taken by ambulance to the Midlands Regional Hospital where his wound was closed with surgical staples.

Read more: 'They should be enjoying retirement': Community's shock as man (94) attacked and wife threatened during break-in

The house on the Old Dublin Road, Roscrea where an elderly couple were assaulted overnight. Picture: Mark Condren
The house on the Old Dublin Road, Roscrea where an elderly couple were assaulted overnight. Picture: Mark Condren

This is the second time in three years that the couple had suffered a break-in at their home.

"It's just shocking," Mrs Wall said. "They are private people just minding their own business. They were both born and bred in Roscrea. Dad was a boner in the meat plant and my mother was a dressmaker. Dad had a stroke three or four years ago.

"They were robbed three years ago while they were at Mass. These people are either desperate for money or they just didn't care. I think they just didn't care," she said.

John Gleeson outside the house of the aggravated burglary in Roscrea, Co Tipperary. Photo: Mark Condren
John Gleeson outside the house of the aggravated burglary in Roscrea, Co Tipperary. Photo: Mark Condren

Neighbours described the couple as quiet but sociable.

"They are a lovely couple and keep to themselves. They are well respected in the town," said one neighbour. It's an awful thing to happen."

Break-ins

"There have been break-ins in this part of town before, and they were robbed before as well.

"They play bingo a few nights a week. That's their social life."

The pebble-dash house is situated at the end of a terrace of bungalows on the outskirts of the town.

A laneway at the side of the house leads to a gate which it is believed the raiders opened to gain access to the side window of the house before breaking in.

Gardaí have appealed for anyone with information to contact them at Roscrea garda station on 0505 24230.

A family member told the Irish Independent that Mr Campion is recovering well from the attack, describing his condition as "grand" with his spirits "not bad" given the circumstances.

Despite his condition improving, he was kept in the hospital overnight.

Irish Independent

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