Condemnation after couple assaulted by armed gang in east Belfast


A couple were threatened and beaten in their east Belfast home by an armed gang in the early hours of Monday morning.

Three men, one armed with a suspected handgun, forced their way into the property on the Upper Newtownards Road and stole jewellery.

The couple were taken to hospital to be treated for their injuries which are not thought to be life-threatening.

East Belfast DUP MLA and Policing Board member Robin Newton condemned the incident as shocking and said it will cause concern within the local community.

“Once again thugs have carried out an armed robbery and have shown their willingness to terrorise their victims as they steal their jewellery,” he said.

“Incidents of this nature can so easily result in very serious outcomes and awful consequences.

“The victims are defenceless when the gangsters strike. Not only can they suffer physical violence but in the after-effects of the incident long-term mental health problems can result.

“The police need help from the public to put those who carry out these types of violent robberies behind bars.”

MP for the area Naomi Long added her voice to the condemnation, labelling those behind the crime as “callous individuals”.

“People should be able to feel safe in their own home without the threat of being assaulted,” said Ms Long.

“My thoughts are with this couple following what must have been a very traumatic experience for them. I hope they will be able to make a swift recovery from the injuries they sustained.

“The people responsible obviously have no regards for the well-being of other people. If anybody has any information about this burglary then I would urge them to contact the police.”