A north Belfast teenager has warned other school children to be vigilant after a broken bottle was held to his neck during a terrifying daylight mugging.
The 18-year-old, who is a pupil at a local school, was going to smoke a cigarette with a friend at about 3pm on Monday, April 19, when he was set upon by two men wearing motorbike helmets.
He said: “We had went to Manor Street to get a smoke when these two guys with motorcycle helmets came up to us.
“One held a broken bottle to my throat and demanded my mobile phone. Luckily I had a broken one in my pocket and gave him that.”
As they left, the youth exchanged insults with his muggers. The two then came back and punched him in the face “about five or six times” leaving the terrified teen with cuts and bruises.
“My parents were very worried after they heard about it and told me to be safer in future,” the teenager said.
“I’m just worried about them maybe seeing me again and attacking me as I would spend a lot of my time in the area, as I go to school here and I am also a fan of Cliftonville Football Club.”
He said that this wasn’t the first time that a pupil from his school had been targeted in the area and felt that would-be muggers saw pupils as a “soft touch”.
He said that one of his friends had previously been threatened with a meat cleaver before being mugged.
“They think we are all from Jordanstown and have loads of money and expensive phones,” he added.
SDLP North Belfast MLA Alban Maginness condemned those responsible.
Mr Maginness said: “I was appalled to hear of the violent mugging of a schoolboy, in broad daylight, only yards away from his school.
“I have spoken to the student, who has clearly been shaken up by this ordeal.
“After leaving school with a friend he was approached by two men wearing motorcycle helmets who held a glass bottle to his neck and demanded he hand over his possessions.
“These people, who have shown absolutely no regard for the safety of this young man, then struck him about the face. Thankfully his injuries are not too serious but this incident could have been much more serious.
“At this time of year, when students are preparing for exams, and are under a great deal of pressure, I am concerned that this could have a detrimental affect on his education.
“I am aware that this was not the first such mugging of a student in this location and would appeal to anyone with any information to contact the PSNI as soon as possible.”
A PSNI spokeswoman said: “At approximately 3.20pm on Monday, April 19, police received a report that an 18-year-old man was approached by two men, one of whom was wearing a motorcycle helmet, in the Manor Street area. It is believed the culprits, described as being in their late teens, placed glass to his neck before assaulting him and making off with his mobile phone.”
They have appealed to anyone with information to contact them on 0845 600 8000. Alternatively, information about crime can be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers charity by calling 0800 555 111.”