Masked thugs who burgled home of dying OAP returned posing as police and robbed him at knifepoint
TWO masked men who burgled the home of a pensioner dying from cancer conned their way back in by pretending to be the police and robbed him at knifepoint.
Denis Nicolini's first-floor flat in Bransholme was burgled while he was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer at Castle Hill Hospital.
The 77-year-old spent the next few weeks replacing the thousands of pounds-worth of electrical equipment taken, including his camera, PC and laptop.
But the offenders returned to his flat in Bransholme in broad daylight, pretending, via the intercom, to be police officers investigating the first offence so Mr Nicolini would let them in.
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The former electrical engineer buzzed them in through the main entrance to the flats and, before he could get to his own front door, the men burst in and dragged him down the hall into his living room while holding a knife to his throat.
"I was obviously shocked when they came through the front door. I thought it was locked and next thing I saw was the knife under my throat," said Mr Nicolini.
"They pulled me out my slippers into the front room and pushed me down on to the sofa and said 'don't move'.
"Both of them had balaclavas on. They ransacked the room while I sat here.
"I just was thinking 'lets just get this over with'.
"They had a knife so there was always the possibility they could have done something to me, so I didn't fight back.
"They knew what they were doing and what they had come for.
"They must be the same people who burgled me the first time because they knew about the burglary."
Mr Nicolini was diagnosed with cancer in April and has been told there is no cure.
He recently underwent chemotherapy to reduce the pain, but because it has spread from his stomach, doctors have told him there is nothing more they can do.
In the first burglary his morphine used for pain relief was stolen.
Mr Nicolini, who, over the years has been mugged three times, said he is trying not to let the burglary drive him from his home.
He said: "I've lived here more than 20 years. I like it here, my neighbours are nice and I don't really want to move.
"I've got so many memories here and I feel safer now I've got new locks.
"I'm just a normal person on a state pension, I'm not rich. I'm no more a target than anyone else."
However his family, including his two daughters and his son, now want him to move house.
His daughter, Claudia Nicolini, 35, said: "I'm absolutely sickened by what they did.
"Words can't describe how I'm feeling. To know they treated my dad like that makes me feel sick.
"We kind of thought there was a chance they might come back but I never thought in a million years they would come while he was in.
"He is dying, he is a frail old man, I don't know how they could do this.
"He has been through an absolute nightmare.
"I can't sleep at night thinking about them coming back."
Police investigating the robbery, which happened at about 2pm on Sunday, November 18, have taken Mr Nicolini's dressing gown, which he was wearing at the time, for DNA testing.
The offenders were of medium build and spoke with Hull accents.
It is thought they rode off on bikes.
Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101.