Man (72) dies after break-in at his home

Tue, May 1, 2012, 01:00

Police in the North have launched a murder inquiry after a pensioner collapsed after confronting a burglar who broke into his home demanding money.

Bertie Acheson (72) was found dead in the kitchen of his home at Glenmore Gardens in the Mountsandel area of Coleraine, Co Derry.

He was in bed with his wife, Sheila (70), at about 1.30am yesterday when he heard glass breaking. An intruder had forced his way in through a back window, went to the couple’s bedroom and demanded cash. Later there was a struggle in the kitchen, but by the time an ambulance arrived after his wife raised the alarm, Mr Acheson had died.

Police said the burglar escaped with Ms Acheson’s purse containing £375 (€460), as well as some bank and store cards.

Det Insp Ian Harrison said: “It may not have been the person’s intention for someone to have died, and I would directly appeal to him to come forward before things get out of hand.”

Mr Acheson was a part-time chimney sweep. He and his wife had been married for 44 years.