Dublin criminal (27) is chief suspect for raid that left widow in a coma
A 27-year-old Dublin criminal has emerged as the chief suspect in a violent aggravated burglary in the North, which left a pensioner fighting for her life.
Pat Davidson (83) suffered a fractured skull, spine and pelvis when a four-man gang raided her home in Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone, last Tuesday night.
The vulnerable widow suffered the injuries when she fell from a window as she attempted to escape the burglars.
A senior PSNI detective said police were treating the incident as attempted murder and liaising with gardaí after a vehicle with a fake Wexford registration plate was used by the gang.
The Irish Independent has learned that a prolific burglar from Tallaght has emerged as a chief suspect.
Investigators received information that the criminal's car was in the Aughnacloy area prior to the gang breaking into Ms Davidson's home.
The vehicle's details and registration number were given to PSNI officers, who also passed on the information to their Garda colleagues.
In the days after the shocking crime, the burglar was arrested following a high-speed chase, which ended in a Co Kildare town.
An Garda Síochána's automatic number-plate recognition system then alerted the officers that the car was being sought in relation to the Tyrone burglary.
- Read more: Gardai liaising with PSNI to identify four men as grandmother (83) left fighting for life after 'violent' burglary
The criminal's car has since been seized to be forensically examined, and while he has not been formally arrested in relation to the PSNI investigation, sources have said he is being treated as a chief suspect in the case.
Detectives are also continuing to appeal for information on two other cars; a dark-coloured car using registration GK56 AEG and a silver car, possibly a Ford Focus, using the registration 06WX 6313.
The 27-year-old suspect has previously served a jail term after threatening a garda detective and has a string of previous convictions for burglary-related offences.
Ms Davidson was placed in an induced coma and is continuing to be treated in hospital following the break-in at her home last week.
A young mother described how she found the old-aged pensioner screaming in pain, lying below an open upstairs window.
Cody Morrison (21) said: "Two people walking past said they had seen four men jumping over the wall into the car, so we knew something bad had happened.
"I looked around the house and saw a window had been jacked open, so I called out to see if anyone was there.
"We just heard the voice saying, 'I'm here'. She was very shaken, very afraid."
The four suspects made off in a black car in the direction of Moore Street.
Detectives are linking the raid on Ms Davidson's home to three other burglaries, also near the Border, on Tuesday night.
The other burglaries happened at Aghaloo Close in Aughnacloy; Richmond Park in Ballygawley; and McDowell Terrace in Seskinore.