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Thursday, 26 July, 2001, 22:29 GMT 23:29 UK
Murder shocks community
Forensic scientists at the murder scene
Forensic scientists at the murder scene
The police are reviewing security in Bangor after an elderly man was murdered in the County Down town on Wednesday night.

Frederick Russell McMahon, 70, was attacked at the back of Bangor Abbey in Abbey Street at about 2315.

He was walking home through the Whitehill estate at the time of the attack.

The alarm was raised by a passing motorist, who saw the assault taking place.

Detective Inspector David Skelly: Appealed for witnesses
Detective Inspector David Skelly: Appealed for witnesses

When police reached Mr McMahon, he was able to speak to them briefly, before being taken to hospital where he died two hours later.

The police said they had not yet established a motive for the attack - although robbery is one of the theories being considered.

They said Mr McMahon suffered "horrific" injuries during the assault.

Detective Inspector David Skelly, who is leading the inquiry, said the evidence of the motorist was "very relevant" to the investigation.

"I would appeal to anyone who was in that area at the time, or indeed anyone who is aware of anything at all about this matter, to contact myself or the CID at Bangor RUC station," he said.

'Fear'

On the Whitehill estate, pensioners spoke of their horror and shock over the attack.

One man said: "It's a shock that any person should be killed, but particularly a person of 70 years of age. It is a disgrace.

A female resident said: "There have been so many people attacked, women having their handbags attacked and so on, it's very dangerous."

Some people in Bangor have said Castle Park is frequented by drug users at night.

Bangor council has said it will review security at the park following the attack.

A council spokeswoman said: "This is a public park. It's used by the public for picnics, children play here, the elderly use it as a place to have a walk.

"We're not aware of any incidents that have taken place in the past, so it's appalling that this has taken place now.

"The pensioner's murder has brought fear to a place normally associated with tranquility."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Anita McVeigh:
"The victim was able to briefly speak to police"
RUC Detective Inspector David Skelly:
"We are appealing to anyone with information"
See also:

26 Jul 01 | Northern Ireland
Police launch murder inquiry
18 Jan 01 | Northern Ireland
Robbers refused man medicine
20 Mar 01 | Northern Ireland
Pensioner robbed of funeral money
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