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Woman in her 90s held at knifepoint during ‘despicable’ burglary in Derry city

The internal wire to the phone was cut which prevented the woman from seeking assistance for several hours.

POLICE IN THE North are appealing for information after a woman in her 90s was held at knifepoint during a burglary at her home in Derry.

The incident happened at around 4am on Sunday morning in a home in the Rossbay area in the Waterside of the city.

PSNI received a report that three men, described as wearing dark clothing with hoods up and faces covered, gained entry to a house in the area by smashing a pane of glass in the rear door.

A woman in her 90s was alone in the house and was prevented from leaving her bedroom by one of the men, while the other two ransacked her home.

The PSNI has said that nothing was stolen during the incident.

But a PSNI spokesperson added: “Before leaving empty-handed, the men cut the internal wire to the phone to prevent the woman from seeking assistance, leaving her unable to raise the alarm until 7.00am.

“This intrusion was undoubtedly a frightening experience, although we are thankful that the woman was physically unharmed.

“It’s particularly abhorrent that the actions of these criminals left an older person in such a vulnerable position, unable to seek help from her family.”

SDLP Foyle MLA Sinéad McLaughlin described the incident as “despicable”.

She said the “heinous crime” will have “left an elderly member of our community distressed and traumatised”.

She added: “To think of someone in their 90s being intimidated in this way is absolutely awful.

“I hope that these masked men will be swiftly brought to justice.

“I would ask anyone with information to come forward to the police and assist them with their enquiries so these men can be apprehended.”

A PSNI spokesperson said enquiries are continuing to establish the circumstances surrounding this incident. 

The spokesperson added: “We have reason to believe that this burglary may be linked to three other suspected attempted break-ins in the area overnight.”

The PSNI is appealing to anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area, or may have relevant doorbell or CCTV footage, to make contact with them.

A report can also be made using the online reporting form via, and information can also be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at