Disabled man living in fear after burglars ransacked his home and set his trousers on fire

A disabled Northern Irish man says he no longer feels safe in his own home after two men broke in, wrecked his home, tied him to a chair and set his trousers on fire.

Disabled man living in fear after burglars ransacked his home and set his trousers on fire

By Leona O’Neill

A disabled Northern Irish man says he no longer feels safe in his own home after two men broke in, wrecked his home, tied him to a chair and set his trousers on fire.

Mickey Diver (47) who suffers from leg paralysis and walks with the aid of a frame, was watching television on Saturday night when the men broke in through the kitchen window of his home in Strabane, Co Tyrone.

They assaulted him, leaving a large gash on his head, and tied him to a chair in his bedroom before ransacking his home.

They set various pieces of furniture alight before turning their attention to the vulnerable man, setting his trousers on fire while he was restrained and unable to escape.

Mickey says he was shaken and traumatised by the attack.

“I was watching TV on Saturday night and they broke the back window and climbed through,” he said.

“They just attacked me for nothing. They grabbed me, took me into the bedroom, sat me on a chair and they tied my hands behind my back.

"They tied my hands so tight it cut my skin. They wrecked my house and set fire to pictures on the wall and my sofa.

"They were setting fire to everything and they pulled the smoke alarm off the roof. They were trying to burn my bungalow down.

“They came in a hit me a hard punch in the head while I was tied up. Then they lit my tracksuit bottoms. I couldn’t get away and my trousers were on fire.

"It was terrifying. I couldn’t escape. I can hardly walk, I use a zimmer frame. I couldn’t get up and run.

"They put the fire out on my trousers but I was burned right up my leg.

“They released me and left. I was in agony but I couldn’t get up. They stole my mobile phone so I couldn’t ring anyone.

"I had to stay there for hours before I eventually got the strength to get my walking frame and I managed to walk to my mother’s house to get help.”

Mickey says after the attack he does not feel safe now in his own home.

“I am feeling terrible today,” he says. “I am so sore and I am scared. I don’t want to live here anymore.

"I want to move. I don’t feel safe in my own home.

"I want to go into a homeless shelter or anywhere. I just don’t want to live here.”

Police in Strabane say they are currently investigating “a very serious incident, involving burglary, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, false imprisonment and criminal damage, reported within the Springhill Park area of Strabane”.

“This incident is believed to have occurred Between Saturday 17th February 10pm and Sunday 18th February 1am,” said a spokesperson.

“Police have arrested and charged one person in relation to the incident however we appeal to anyone with any information, to contact Police."

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