Belfast Telegraph

Man is stabbed in back by stranger during early hours search for pet dog

By Lindsay Fergus

A man has been left hospitalised after an early morning random knife attack.

The victim would not even have been on the streets of east Belfast except for the fact that his dog had run off when he had walked the short distance to his car to retrieve a packet of cigarettes.

It was during the impromptu search in the pitch dark for his pet that he was approached by a man.

Without provocation the assailant, described as wearing a black hooded top, stabbed the victim in the back, according to police.

The attacker then pulled the knife to the man's throat.

A struggle ensued as the victim, who is in his 40s, fought off his attacker.

The attacker then made off on foot. The victim's wounds were so severe that he had to be taken to hospital. The attack happened in Imperial Street, off the Ravenhill Road, at around 2am yesterday.

The victim was still being treated in hospital last night but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

When police were called to the scene, a sniffer dog discovered a knife dumped in a nearby bin.

Police believe it was the weapon that was used in the stabbing.

It has been sent for forensic examination.

No arrests have been made so far in connection with the shocking attack. Local councillor Maire Hendron has urged anyone with information on the stabbing to contact the PSNI.

The Alliance representative for the Pottinger area said: "I am shocked at this vicious and brutal attack.

"Knives have no place on our streets and are a danger to everybody including those who carry them."

She continued: "My thoughts are with the victim.

"I hope he will be able to make a swift recovery from the injuries he sustained.

"The person responsible is obviously a very dangerous individual, so I would urge anybody who may be able to help the police in their investigations to contact the PSNI or Crimestoppers."

Any information about the stabbing can be passed to CID at Musgrave on 101. Information can also be given anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

It comes just days after another stabbing in east Belfast which claimed the life of 21-year-old James Stitt.

He died following the attack in Castlereagh Place.

Mr Stitt, who had been attending a house party on Saturday night, was stabbed in the stomach.

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