A man in his 30s is recovering in hospital after being brutally beaten by a masked gang.
Ian Hyndman suffered a broken leg and puncture wounds after he was attacked by eight men brandishing baseball bats fortified with nails who forced their way into a house about 10pm on Tuesday. It is understood the man was visiting a friend in Cuilrath Street in the Harpur’s Hill area of Coleraine when the gang burst in. The victim fled but his attackers caught him and beat him. He was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital. A spokesman said his condition was “stable and comfortable”.
East Londonderry MLA John Dallat has blamed loyalist paramilitaries for the savage assault which he said was a case of mistaken identity.
“The victim is a totally innocent and respectable member of Coleraine who is in permanent employment and has no criminal record of any kind. He was visiting a friend and was set upon by seven or eight so-called men wearing masks and armed with sticks with nails in them,” he said.
“I believe this cowardly gang was looking for someone else who may have lived there in the past, but that does not excuse their thuggery. They remained silent during the beating and gave no indication of why they were there, but the finger of suspicion falls naturally and with good reason on the UDA.
“When the victim managed to escape to the house next door they followed him and beat him again leaving his body a mess of open wounds and, most likely psychological injuries which could take a lifetime to heal if ever.
“Harpur’s Hill has seen its share of hooded men in the past masquerading as the ‘alternative police force’ and they have left their scars on a lot of good people over the years. They are the lowest form of life and they are despised by all right-thinking people.”
Mr Dallat urged people to bring any information about the attack to police. A PSNI spokeswoman said detectives were working to establish a motive for the assault. Anyone with information can contact police on 0845 600 8000.