Masked men attack Derry woman with hammer while children were at home
A group of masked men have assaulted a woman with a hammer after forcing their way into a house in Bloomfield Park in Londonderry.
The woman's three children were also in the house during the assault, which happened shortly before 11pm on Thursday night.
Three men forced their way into the house and two assaulted the woman who lived there, while a third smashed windows and mirrors.
Detective Inspector Michael Winters said: "She was punched and slapped, and hit around the legs with a hammer. This assault took place in one of the downstairs rooms. Meanwhile, the third male went around the house, smashing windows and mirrors.
"The woman was taken to hospital for treatment to injuries, which are not believed to be life-threatening.
"This was a violent attack on a female. Furthermore, her three young children were home at the time. And, while physically uninjured, they have been left badly shaken. It was a traumatic ordeal, which no family should ever have to experience.
"While enquiries are at an early stage, this has all the makings of a paramilitary-style attack. I am appealing to anyone with information, or who noticed any suspicious activity in the area around that time, to contact us on 101, quoting reference number 2114 of 26/09/19.
"Alternatively, information can be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime."
Sinn Fein councillor Aileen Mellon said: “I unreservedly condemn this brutal attack – the very thought that people would enter someone’s home and do this is shocking.
“The women’s children were in the property at the time and have been left badly shaken by this terrible ordeal. This will have a lasting impact on them.
“I am calling on anyone with information to bring it forward to the PSNI.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital