A man who suffers from epilepsy has been slashed in the face and hit around the head in an attack in Annalong, Co Down.
Derek Wortley (53), who walks with a stick, was making his way to a family party through an area of waste ground near Ulster Avenue in the village just before midnight on Saturday when he was assaulted by two or three unknown males. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Mr Wortley's daughter, Rebecca, said she was shocked her father was attacked so close to home and in such a brutal way.
"I never believed anything like that would happen here," she said.
"Nobody is going to feel safe going out any more - this has happened right behind the house. He was only out the back door.
"We've walked through that field since we've lived in that house, it's a short cut for us.
"We wouldn't think anyone would be there wanting to carry out something like this."
Mr Wortley's brother, Ian, added: "It's just something that never happens round here."
Ulster Unionist MLA John McCallister condemned the brutal attack as "cowardice of the highest kind".