A teenage boy was last night seriously ill in hospital with multiple stab wounds after being attacked during one of three violent knife crimes in Northern Ireland in less than 12 hours.
Police said the 18-year-old was stabbed a number of times in a house on the Donaghmore Road in Dungannon early yesterday morning. He is understood to be in a serious but stable condition in hospital.
A 19 year-old male was arrested by detectives investigating the vicious assault.
UUP councillor Walter Cuddy said the community will be saddened by the news of the stabbing as it comes just months after the brutal murder of popular Shaun Fitzpatrick (32), whose badly beaten body was discovered along the same road as yesterday’s attack.
“Knife crime is a very worrying problem for Northern Ireland. The local community in Dungannon will be very shocked and saddened by this stabbing. It comes just months after the murder of Shaun Fitzpatrick, a very popular and well-liked member of the community. After Shaun’s murder the community expressed how they did not want this type of thing happening,” said Mr Cuddy.
He added: “Now we have another horrible attack and a situation where friends and relatives are left worrying if their loved one will recover. We all need to do something to try and stamp out knife crime in Dungannon and right across Northern Ireland.”
The attack was one of three violent knife crimes reported to police in the province within the space of nine hours.
In the first incident, at around 8pm on Thursday, a man armed with a knife threatened two members of staff at a Newtownabbey service station and demanded cash from the till. As he left the Shore Road store with the cash in a black bag he was confronted by a female member of the public. He dropped the bag and fled.
In a separate incident at around 5am yesterday morning three men robbed a man at knife point in his Crumlin home.
The gang, aged in their 20s, entered the house at Laurelvale on the Lurgan Road while a fourth male waited in a stolen blue Vauxhall Vectra car.
They confronted a man in his 20s. The men ransacked the kitchen before making off with a plasma screen television and a sum of cash. The occupier escaped without injury.
Last week calls were made for the Executive to make tackling knife crime a top priority as it emerged that knives are involved in 15 violent attacks every week in Northern Ireland.
Latest police statistics show that in the last financial year a total of 1,062 crimes were recorded where a knife was involved — amounting to an average of over 20 per week. A total of 777 of these crimes were violent attacks including offences against the person, sexual offences and robberies — almost 15 a week on average.