More heartbreak for Acheson family

The Late Bertie Acheson, who was murdered in his own home of The Mountsandel Road in Coleraine.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
The Late Bertie Acheson, who was murdered in his own home of The Mountsandel Road in Coleraine.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.

THE family of murdered Coleraine pensioner Bertie Acheson have suffered new heartbreak with the tragic death of his brother last week.

Bertie, 72, pictured, collapsed and died as he tried to protect his wife from a burglar who broke into their home at Glenmore Gardens on April 30.

His brother Stuart, who was also in his 70s, passed away in the Causeway Hospital last Monday after being involved in a road accident.

Stuart was taken to hospital after suffering injuries in the crash which involved an ambulance making its way to the Altnagelvin Hospital at Dunhill Road, Macosquin, at around 3.30pm on Wednesday, August 1.

Bertie’s step-daughter Sandra Creelman described Stuart’s death as another “devastating blow” for the family.

“There were four brothers and now there is just one left,” she said.

“It is more pain, another devastating blow for the family.

“He [Stuart] died on Monday, exactly 14 weeks since daddy was killed.

“We are still very raw and struggling to come terms with what happened to daddy, and now we have suffered another loss, and that of course is going to be very tough on the whole family circle.”

Stuart’s funeral was held from Wade’s Funeral Home in Coleraine last Friday afternoon.

Bertie Acheson’s murder sent shockwaves across the Province.

Police are still hunting the burglar who broke into the Mountsandel home and assaulted Mr Acheson before threatening his 70-year-old wife and demanding she hand over money.

The charity Crimestoppers has offered £10,000 for information leading to the arrest of the culprit.

Bertie had been in bed asleep at 1.30am on Monday, April 30, when he and his wife Sheila woke to the sound of breaking glass.

Mr Acheson got out of bed to see what had happened and went into the kitchen where he was confronted by a male intruder.

The intruder demanded money. There was an altercation and a struggle which resulted in Mr Acheson falling to the floor.

The man then snatched a purse containing £375 belonging to Mr Acheson’s wife Sheila, who was in her bedroom.

Mrs Acheson, who suffers from severe arthritis, raised the alarm but by the time ambulance personnel and police arrived Mr Acheson was dead.

The murder featured on the national BBC programme Crimewatch.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Harrison has said they need information from the public to make a breakthrough in the case.