An elderly woman who needed hospital treatment after being attacked by a group of ‘thugs’ who assaulted her son and grandson, has said she vows to see them jailed for their crime.
The attack occurred in Newtownards on Sunday night as the 70-year-old went to the aid of her son and grandson who were caught up in a violent brawl.
A gang of up to 10 men beat and kicked her 43-year-old son and 19-year-old grandson as they lay on the ground outside her Mark Street home.
Speaking on Monday, the pensioner told the Belfast Telegraph the gang who carried out the attack were worse than animals.
The elderly woman, who wished to remain anonymous said: “I would say people is not the word for them. Animals is not the name for them because animals only kill to live.
“I would call them drunken scumbags. I could have died at their fingertips last night,” said the woman, who wished to remain anonymous.
The attack happened at around 9pm as the woman was walking back to her house after visiting friends.
Her grandson had been involved in an argument with a man at the bus station and had been followed back home by three girls, one of whom was carrying a knife.
They continued the argument but his 43-year-old father came out and attempted to calm the situation.
A man who was with the girls then made a phone call and within minutes two carloads of men — suspected to be paramilitaries — arrived.
“They were like wild elephants running across the street,” said the grandmother-of-nine. “They beat all round them.
“I went over to one of them and said: ‘He’s nothing to do with this’, and they slung me out of the way and pushed my back against the railing.
“He held me over the railing by my neck, and thinking it would save me I said: ‘Darling, I’m 70’, and he said, ‘F*** you’, and punched me,” said the pensioner.
Three of the gang then chased her son into the house, beating him and ransacking the kitchen.
A police spokesperson said: “Detectives in Newtownards are appealing for information after a report of an assault at the Mark Street area.”
“All three persons assaulted were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment to their injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening,” they added.
Strangford DUP MLA Jonathan Bell said: “I think we are all rightly disturbed that a 70 year old lady has been attacked and many people I have spoken with are frightened.
“We wish her well but acknowledge the physical and psychological harm this causes. This area has a high elderly population who deserve to live free from fear,” added the MLA.
“I think we should be unequivocal any attack on elderly people is unjustified and unjustifiable.”
A 23 year old man and a female aged 16 years have been arrested and are helping police with their enquiries.
Anyone who has any information is asked to contact Newtownards CID on 0845 600 8000.