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Mother of five beaten unconscious in brutal burglary

By Evan Short

A New Lodge mother of five who was knocked unconscious after disturbing burglars in her home has branded the culprits “scum” after learning that they continued to beat her after striking the initial blow.

Gina Kelly, 37, who suffers from serious health problems and is awaiting a liver transplant, was hospitalised for two days to allow specialists to carry out tests after the beating led to complications in her condition.

She says she is now living in fear as she believes her Halliday’s Road home was specifically targeted by the thugs around midnight last Tuesday evening (August 19).

“I went to bed about 11.10pm and about 20 minutes later I was lying dozing when I heard our wee dog barking out the back. I opened the window and told it to shut up and went back to bed.

“Then I heard it growling and decided to go down and bring him in. The first I noticed something was wrong was when the downstairs bathroom light was turned off. I always leave it on for my kids.”

As Gina made her way to the bottom of the stairs she says she remembers being hit and nothing else.

“I remember wakening up and thought I had been out for a few seconds, but it was 25 minutes.

“They had taken a folding chair and as I put my foot on the bottom step they hit me right up the face with it.”

Such were her injuries, paramedics strapped Gina to a spinal board before taking her to the Royal Victoria Hospital for treatment. Meanwhile her five kids had to be taken to the homes of neighbours and relatives while the PSNI carried out forensic investigations.

It was only in hospital where Gina learned the full extent of the assault.

“I thought I was only hit once but they beat me about the head and shoulder. I still have bruises on my back where it happened. One of the doctors thought my injuries were like I had been kicked.”

However Gina’s hospital ordeal wasn’t over after the wounds had been treated.

“I have a liver condition and am on the list for a transplant. Whatever way they were beating me caused my liver problems, so I had to be taken to the specialists in the Mater for tests.”

Only after that treatment was Gina allowed to return to her family. She says she has nothing but contempt for the people who did it.

“They are scum. That could have been any of my kids coming down the stairs. My eight and five year olds suffer from serious learning difficulties.

“They stole £320 cash from my bag but left all the credit cards which doesn’t make any sense. I also live in the centre of a terrace and they passed all the other houses to come to me. I have been getting threatening texts lately too, but the police have all those and are investigating. These people should be off the streets.”

A PSNI spokesman appealed for information.

“Police in North Belfast are appealing for information after a report of an aggravated burglary at residential premises at the Halliday’s Road, North Belfast area in the early hours of Wednesday 20th August.

“Shortly before 00:35am, it was reported that a female resident was in her home when she was assaulted by an unknown male. It is believed that a sum of money was taken during the incident. Enquiries are continuing.

“Police would ask anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the area or who has any information to contact them on the non emergency number 101. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111”


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