Teenager beaten so severely there was a boot mark left on the side of his face
A Teenager who was attacked by a gang after a trip to the cinema was beaten so badly he was left with the imprint of a boot on his face.
The 16-year-old was viciously assaulted by a gang of around 10 people as he walked home along the Andersonstown Road in West Belfast with his girlfriend and two friends.
The attackers tried to throw him in front of oncoming traffic but was only stopped by a woman who came to their aid.
It comes just weeks after the murder of 20-year-old Twinbrook father-of-one Christopher Meli, who was beaten to death by a large group of males and females.
Aisling Thompson said that her son was attacked on Sunday night after three males started hurling abuse at him and his friends.
They apparently phoned for more people to come to the scene moments before the attack took place.
The mother said her son's life was saved by a passing motorist who got out and put an end to the brutal assault.
In a bid to find the woman, she posted a plea on Facebook to trace the good Samaritan, which has been shared more than 3,100 times.
She also revealed the extent of his injuries.
"He was head butted, punched and received kicks to the head, face and body while lying on the ground and has the imprint of a boot on the side of his face," Ms Thompson said.
"They also tried to throw him into the road in front of moving cars.
"Only for a woman who stopped her car and came to their rescue, he mightn't be here this morning. I'm trying to trace the lady who stopped to help, please share in the hopes she will see this. My son had been to the cinema and McDonald's and was heading home at 9pm, our kids aren't safe anywhere in west Belfast any more, it's overrun with gangs."
She added that her son was treated at the city's Royal Victoria Hospital for injuries to his head including a boot mark to his face.
The mother also raised concerns following the attack on Mr Meli who was buried last week.
She said: "It's getting to the stage that it's just not safe any more for young people to be out in west Belfast. After what happened to that poor fella Christopher Meli do young people not realise what can happen when they attack people like this?
"The place is overrun with gangs drinking and off their heads on God knows what. I'm just glad the woman stopped and got out of the car. They all ran off then, so this could have been a lot worse, they could have killed him if they hadn't been stopped."
The PSNI confirmed officers are investigating an assault in the Andersonstown Road area on Sunday night.
A spokesman added: "Shortly after 11pm it was reported that a 16-year-old male had been assaulted in the area. He received treatment for cuts and bruises.
"Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone with any information to contact them in Woodbourne Police Station on the non-emergency number 101."