Thursday 26 April 2018

Elderly farmer hospitalised after raiders who 'threatened to burn Bible' ransack rural home

Masked intruders pulled farmer and his wife from their bed while they slept

Ruth Pollock in her bedroom
Ruth Pollock in her bedroom

Nevin Farrell

The elderly victim of a violent rural robbery has said raiders threatened to burn her Bible as they ransacked her isolated farmhouse before her husband suffered a heart attack.

Ruth Pollock, who is in her 70s, was left badly bruised after being tied up by masked and armed intruders, who smashed into their north Antrim home at around 1am yesterday.

They took cash and beat up her husband Chris (78) - and the pensioner later suffered a heart attack brought on by the stress of the ordeal.

Both pensioners were treated in hospital for their injuries.

However, Ruth returned to her Lisnagat Road home near Mosside on Monday morning to feed her cattle while her husband was being kept in the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine.

Mr and Mrs Pollock married in 1999 and have lived in the farmhouse ever since.

Chris and Ruth Pollock on their wedding day
Chris and Ruth Pollock on their wedding day

They had never experienced rural crime until terror arrived in their home yesterday as they slept in their bed after listening to an American religious preacher on a radio show.

The couple attend gospel halls in areas like Ballintoy and Ballycastle, and Mrs Pollock said her faith was helping her get through.

She said as they slept they were suddenly pulled from the bed by the raiders.

"They pulled us up to the front room. They tied me up and they ransacked the house," she said.

"They said they were looking for money and said they were going to burn one of the Bibles. They even looked behind pictures on the walls.

"They tied the two of us onto the sofa. They tied Chris up.

"They had two guns. I don't know if they were real or not. They were dressed the same way as you would see on the television and all we could see was the eyes.

"Chris is a farmer and he was strong and they held him down, and as he tried to resist they gave him a terrible battering. And they were sore with me too.

"They tied the two of us with a green cord and they broke the house phone at the last. They tied me on the legs with my hair dryer flex, then Chris said they were away.

"It must have been the hand of God but I was able to free myself and I tried to cut a belt which they had tied Chris' arm with."

Belfast Telegraph

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