Pensioner suffered fractured skull, spine and pelvis during burglary fall

The window from where the pensioner is believed to have fallen
The window from where the pensioner is believed to have fallen

An 83-year-old widow who fell from an upstairs window as a gang of burglars raided her home has suffered a fractured skull, spine and pelvis, police have said.

Pat Davidson remained in a critical condition in hospital on Thursday having been put in an induced coma by doctors.

The house where the pensioner lived in Aughnacloy

The house where the pensioner lived in Aughnacloy

She was found screaming in pain lying below an open upstairs window of her house in Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone, at about 9pm on Tuesday by a neighbour who disturbed the four burglars as they ransacked the property on Sydney Street.

The four suspects made off in a black car in the direction of Moore Street.

Officers are treating the incident as attempted murder, with the Police Service of Northern Ireland's Serious Crime Branch having taken on the investigation.

On Thursday afternoon, a spokeswoman for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said the pensioner was "critically ill but stable".

Detectives are linking the raid on Mrs Davidson's home to three other burglaries also near the Irish border on Tuesday night.

They believe the criminal gang could have travelled from the Irish Republic and colleagues from the Garda are assisting the investigation.

The other burglaries happened at Aghaloo Close in Aughnacloy, Richmond Park in Ballygawley and McDowell Terrace in Seskinore.

As some of those homes were not owned by older people, police do not believe the raiders targeted Mrs Davidson's house specifically because of her age.

Officers have made a specific appeal about two vehicles, both of which they believe were carrying false plates.

They are seeking information about a dark-coloured car registration GK56 AEG and a silver car, possibly a Ford Focus, with registration 06WX 6313.

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell said: "We are continuing to investigate this appalling incident in which a vulnerable 83-year-old woman sustained serious injuries and the other burglaries which we believe are linked.

"We have made progress and would now like to make a specific appeal for anyone who has information about two cars which may have been in the location of the burglaries over recent days."

Rev Ian McKee, minister of Aughnacloy Presbyterian Church, said Mrs Davidson's two sons had been left in a very distressed state.

"People are absolutely gobsmacked that this has happened and that people, for personal and selfish gain, could cause such terrible injuries to an elderly lady, living alone minding her own business. It's just awful," he told BBC Radio Ulster.

He added: "While burglaries are not uncommon, for something like this to happen in our little town, folk really cannot take it in.

"She is a member of my congregation, I have been minister in Aughnacloy for six years and Pat is a member of mine and a well-respected lady in the town."