Families' Christmas wrecked by thugs
Police are today hunting violent thugs who inflicted Christmas misery on Ulster families through a series of brutal assaults.
In one incident a man was attacked and beaten in the driveway of his own south Belfast home on Christmas Day after he confronted youths who were attempting to steal his car.
In a separate incident, a Ugandan father is recovering after he was assaulted and bitten by a dog in an apparent racist attack on Christmas Eve in Belfast. A Derry youth has also been attacked and beaten with a bottle.
A Belfast District Policing Partnership (DPP) member today warned that there were those who were intent on causing violence during the season of goodwill.
Detectives are appealing for information after a Christmas Day assault in the leafy Lisburn Road area of south Belfast.
The occupants of the house at Myrtlefield Park were awoken by a noise at 6am.
They discovered two men in their driveway trying to steal the family car.
The male householder went to confront the intruders, but they attacked him and beat him about the head and face, causing cuts and bruising.
Both of the men then ran off and got into a black car which is believed to have been bearing a white coloured illuminated taxi sign.
The two intruders are in their late teens or early 20s.
The first is 5ft 8ins tall, of slim build with fair short shaved hair and wearing a grey hooded top. The second man is 5ft 11ins tall and he was also wearing a grey top.
Belfast DPP member Ruth Patterson said: "Attacks are shocking at any time of the year, but when they occur during the supposed season of goodwill it is even more disturbing for the families of victims."
Ugandan assaulted on own doorstep
On Sunday a Ugandan man was struck in the face and attacked by a dog after he was assaulted in his home in the Rutland Street area of south Belfast at 6:30pm.
The father-of-four was taken to Belfast City Hospital after he was punched in the face and bitten by a dog near his home.
Police have not identified a motive for the Christmas Eve incident although a local representative said it was a suspected arson attack.
Sinn Fein MLA Alex Maskey said: "These types of vicious racist attacks have no place in our society and we need to challenge the attitudes that lead to people being targeted in this way."
Mr Maskey said blood covered the ground outside the house after the victim was punched on the nose.
"The man was standing on his own doorstep when he was attacked and bitten. It is disgraceful and has all the hallmarks of a racist attack.
"This is a hard working family, very well respected, and the neighbours are all very angry about this."
Meanwhile a Londonderry man was today recovering after being assaulted with a bottle.
The man was attacked at around 3am on Saturday as he walked along Iniscarin Road near the Bligh's Lane area of Creggan.
Police said the man, who is in his early 20s, was approached from behind and struck on the head with the bottle.
The victim of the attack said he did not see his attacker, but it is believed the assailant was among a group of people hanging around the area at the time.