Masked men punch and kick elderly victim

John Bryans, 74, with his brother Isaac
John Bryans, 74, with his brother Isaac

The brother of a man in his 70’s who was knifed when two masked men broke into their Mullaghaglass Road home last Friday night, has put up a £1000 reward to help catch the culprits.

Isaac Bryans, (70) a taxi operator, said the violent attack left his brother John (Jack) 73, traumatised with bruises and a cut to his face.

His attackers who wore balaclavas kicked and punched Jack when they burst into his home then cut his face with a knife, before leaving empty handed.

Jack and Isaac, cousins of Henry Philips who was robbed in his Glenavy home a few weeks ago, were sitting watching television in two different rooms when the incident happened.

The burglars burst the back door open then forced their way into the house.

They ran from the kitchen into the living room where Jack was watching television.

“One of the fellas said to him ‘Come on, where is it?’,” said Isaac who was upstairs. “They then started fighting with Jack, hauled him out of the chair then punched and kicked him.”

When Isaac heard the commotion he ran downstairs and the two fled.

Isaac recalled: “I came down and he was knocking about with the blood running out of him.

“He said: ‘those ones nearly murdered me!’”

The attackers were wearing dark coats, were fairly well built and were around 5ft 8inches tall.

Councillor James Tinsley said he would appeal to the public for their help.

“Nobody should have to endure an ordeal like that, especially older people,” he said.

“What worries me is the family lived in a rural area, but it is by no means an isolated area and I believe the intruders knew exactly who they were attempting to rob.

“One of the brothers was very fortunate, when he was physically assaulted, he received a cut to the side of his neck and was kicked brutally around the head.

“I would appeal for anyone who witnessed anything to contact the PSNI and for people to keep an eye on the elderly people who live in their community.”