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Attack victim's 'disgust' at PSNI's slow response to report

By Jonny Bell

Published 24/09/2015

Joseph Bloomer was badly injured in the attack.
Joseph Bloomer was badly injured in the attack.

The victim of a vicious attack which could have cost him his eyesight says he is disgusted at the police response.

Joseph Bloomer was glassed in the face in an unprovoked attack as he left Barney's Bar in Antrim on Sunday, September 13.

He suffered large cuts to his face, with one eyelid slashed in the attack.

The factory worker also had to jump over two high walls and a fence to make his escape, leaving him with a cracked heel and needing it placed into a cast.

Joseph (38), shared graphic images of the aftermath of the attack with his friends on Facebook which created a huge response.

He said he thought he was hit with a baseball and described his attacker as a "vicious wee animal".

Joseph said he was fortunate he still had his vision after the incident.

The bar said it was treating the incident seriously and has handed "clear CCTV footage" over to the police.

However, Joseph said the PSNI's response has let him down.

He says police were given a name and "crystal clear" CCTV footage of the incident, but a police officer admitted to him he did not have a DVD player to watch the footage.

Joseph said: "It's been a week and a half now and I am just disgusted at how the police have handled this.

"It's been constant back and forth with police either off duty or on holiday and nothing seems to have been done.

"I couldn't believe it when the officer said he had no DVD player to watch the CCTV footage.

"He asked if I could send him the images and I just said 'do you want me to do your job for you?'

"And all the while this person is still at large about the town, it's an absolute joke."

Joseph added: "I got speaking to an inspector yesterday and he said the CCTV was being passed to a video unit and they would treat it as high priority.

"I am just raging it has taken this long."

A PSNI spokeswoman responded: "Police are investigating this incident and would appeal to anyone who has any information to contact them on the non-emergency number 101.

"Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.

"Anyone who has a complaint to make about the actions of police can contact the office of the Police Ombudsman."

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