Belfast Telegraph

Appeal after man seriously injured in one-punch attack

By Claire Williamson

Police have been criticised after they appealed for information a month after a man suffered a traumatic head injury in a single-punch attack.

The 28-year-old man was attacked in the Dunbar Link area of Belfast city centre in the early hours of Saturday, July 26.

At approximately 2.30am the man was punched in the face by an unknown man, which knocked him unconscious.

As he fell back, he hit his head, sustaining a serious head injury.

Details of the incident were first released yesterday as police appealed for information and said they were investigating an incident of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

It is understood there was a delay in the victim giving a formal statement to police.

Members of the Stormont justice committee were critical, saying that the police needed to publicise incidents quicker in order to catch those responsible.

DUP MLA Jim Wells said: "Police should show a sense of urgency with these situations.

"A month seems an awfully long time to wait and memories fade in these situations."

SDLP MLA Alban Maginness said: "Perhaps police could have acted earlier in asking for witness evidence or other information surrounding the attack."

He added: "But nonetheless you can understand that the victim of this type of attack, given a serious head injury, would not be in a position to give police very much more information. That, of course, will have added to the delay – you would expect police to act fairly promptly on something like this because potentially it could have been a fatal injury.

"The memory is a very fickle thing and sometimes you can't remember what you did last weekend as opposed to a couple of weekends before that – things become a bit jumbled in your mind.

"In this type of incident, perhaps police could review what they are doing and say maybe we should look at things more quickly than we have done, instead of just simply waiting for a victim to regain consciousness and then for them to act after that not-unreasonable delay."

Chief Inspector Robert Murdie, area Commander for South Belfast, said: "There were a number of people in the vicinity at the time of this incident and police would ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident or anyone who has any information to contact detectives at Musgrave on 0845 600 8000."

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