Page last updated at 08:22 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 09:22 UK

Gang threatens pensioners in home

Robert and Gertrude Hesketh were told they had 48 hours to get out of the house or it would be burned down

Two pensioners have been attacked in their home in Lurgan, County Armagh.

The incident happened at Tarry Drive in the town on Tuesday night, when three masked men burst into the house after smashing their way in with hammers.

Robert, 72, and Gertrude Hesketh, 69, had just moved back into their family home of 40 years after living elsewhere for 18 months.

They were told by the intruders that they had 48 hours to get out of the house or it would be burned down.

The couple's son, Owen, said he was not sure if his parents would return to their home following the attack.

One of the men used a hammer to smash a television and grandfather clock.

Windows were smashed in the attack
Windows were smashed in the attack

"Three men came in and threatened the two of them and said 'you've 48 hours to get out of the house or you're dead'," Owen said.

"Mum stood up for herself and one of the masked men made a swipe for her, but I think he realised what he was about to do and missed her and put the hammer through the television.

"They had just moved back into the house.

"They moved out of the house a year and a half ago because they themselves thought it was too big for them to manage because they both had problems with their heart.

"Mum's more or less paralysed in her left hand. "None of the two of them can do what they used to do.

"I honestly can't see them coming back now, because the whole thing about moving back was 'we are going back to our roots'."

The gang did not steal anything during the burglary and it is not yet clear why the couple were targeted.

"It was just a pure and utter savage threat," Owen added.

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