Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Man (84) hurt in hammer attack horror

An 84-year-old man was in hospital today with serious head injuries after being beaten in a frenzied hammer attack in Co Armagh.



The vicious assault happened on the forecourt of Dewarts Filling Station at Main Street, Waringstown shortly after 8pm last night.

It is understood a man went on the rampage with two hammers, smashing up cars and wrecking the garage shop before turning on the pensioner.

The victim, who is well known in the area, was rushed to Craigavon Area Hospital where his condition was described as stable.

It is understood he had called at the shop to buy a loaf of bread.

Eyewitnesses said the attacker went "ballistic".

He smashed several cars in the forecourt, forced his way into the shop, terrorised staff and caused extensive damage.

The attacker then returned to the forecourt where he launched the brutal assault on the elderly gentleman.

Shop manager Jennifer Gill said staff and customers were petrified.

She told BBC Radio Ulster: "Staff and customers were fearing for their lives.

"They ran to the back of the shop. Another guy tried to intervene but he was just too powerful.

"Then he went out and just went ballistic in the forecourt.

"He left the shop with two hammers swinging in his arms," she said.

"The poor 84-year-old gentleman, he got the hammer struck on the side of the head.

"He is a regular customer and is well known, quiet gentleman. Apparently now he had just nipped out to the shop last night for a loaf of bread. It is just unfortunate that he was there at the time," she added.

Ms Gill, who saw the attack played back on CCTV described it as " unbelievable".

She said nothing of that nature had ever happened on the premises before.

"Staff are emotional. We had a wee girl due to come in this morning but she is just so shaken.

"Her car was badly damaged," she added.

Councillor George Savage said the community had been shocked by the attack.

A PSNI spokesman said one man was arrested nearby and was last night helping police with their enquiries. He remains in police custody.

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