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Man's arms broken after gang storms house

By Angela Rainey

Published 22/07/2016

A forensics officer examines the scene of the assault
A forensics officer examines the scene of the assault

A man was left with two broken arms after being beaten with hammers in his own home.

Up to five men wearing balaclavas and armed with claw hammers and baseball bats stormed the house in Canning Place, Tigers Bay, on Wednesday evening.

The scene was described as "like something out of a film" as shards of glass shattered in the victim's face while the gang entered the house.

Named locally as William Campbell (37), he sustained two broken arms and injuries to his legs in the vicious attack, which took place at 9.30pm. Neighbours said the victims was lucky to be alive, such was the severity of the attack.

Mr Campbell's Housing Executive home was also trashed, the TV destroyed and the front windows and door smashed before the gang made off on foot.

Residents in the cul-de-sac say they are horrified after a number of children, some just toddlers as young as two, witnessed the attack.

A female resident, who did not want to be identified, said: "I heard the noise, the smashing and shouting, and got the kids upstairs to a back bedroom to protect them. I didn't want them to see anything but they could hear it all. My two-year-old saw the men coming and was stood there screaming as I grabbed him and rushed upstairs.

"A few other people saw the men approach the house and had rang the police. Apparently William answered the door just as the hammer went through the glass panel and it shattered in his face.

"At the same time, one man was getting in through the living room window. It was terrifying."

Neighbours said Mr Campbell had lived in the street for about five years and "keeps himself to himself". They added that other former residents living there with him had been attacked in the property before.

On hearing the fracas a number of neighbours rushed to the man's aid.

One father, who had been out at the time, said his wife hugged her kids as they cowered in terror; they too took cover upstairs.

"My wife was in the kitchen and heard the shouting and glass shattering, she thought it was the kids on the Xbox," he said.

"But when she looked out the window she saw masked men. This is a quiet street full of young kids, it's a disgrace that they've had to see all that."

An elderly man who witnessed the scene said: "I was sitting watching TV and heard it kicking off. When I looked out I saw someone going through the man's living room window - I think they must have got in that way. It was like something out of a film.

"I didn't know what to do, whether to go out and see or stay in and be safe.

"It seemed to be all over quickly, as what seemed like seconds later a few men in balaclavas then ran from the house and away.

"By then half the neighbours were out. People's kids saw it too - terrible."

An appeal for witnesses has been made by police. Detective Sergeant Keith Wilson has called for anyone with information to contact Musgrave police station on 101 quoting reference number 1405 of 20/07/2016.

Information can also be given anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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