Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland dad Andrew Barr battered and left for dead after wedding fights for his life in hospital

By Cate McCurry

A father-of-two was left for dead after he was brutally attacked after a friend's wedding in Co Antrim.

Andrew Barr (32) was discovered lying in a grass area by a night porter who has been working at the reception.

Mr Barr, a popular fitness instructor from Ballymena, lay badly injured for some four hours before being found and rushed to hospital with serious head injuries at 6am on Friday.

He suffered severe brain trauma, punctured lungs and injuries to his face.

Mr Barr, who runs Flamingo Fitness in Ballymena, was at a wedding at the Leighinmohr Hotel in the town's Galgorm Road area.

A photograph taken hours before the attack shows Andrew celebrating with friends and colleagues.

It's understood his wife was also admitted to hospital yesterday, although the cause is not yet known.

His clearly upset father Sam Barr said last night he did not want to talk about the incident.

Earlier, Andrew's mother said her son was in "a very bad way".

She told Belfast Live: "We're just glad that he's still with us. He needs to be for his two little boys."

"I'm numb. We are just taking every day as it comes.

"We're taking small steps and taking each day as it comes."

Mr and Mrs Barr pleaded for the public to help find those behind the brutal assault.

They posted a message on social media over the weekend with a link to the Belfast Telegraph story about the assault on their son.

"We wish to inform you all that the man in this article is our precious son Andrew Barr, father of Sam (four) and James (two)," it said.

"Andrew is currently in a critical state and his head injuries sustained were consistent with being repeatedly kicked.

"We won't be posting photos of him to protect his privacy, but they are horrific.

"He has luckily not lost his sight in his left eye and his punctured lungs are recovering. He suffered brain haemorrhaging to both sides of his head, one of which is inoperable.

"It was approximately four hours he lay before he was found.

"Please, please, if anyone has any reliable evidence or can help us find those who did this, please contact Ballymena police station.

"It is being treated as attempted murder."

The PSNI is trying to trace Andrew's movements before the attack.

Detective Sergeant Peter Crothers said: "At approximately 6am it was reported to police a man, aged in his 30s, was found in a grass area close to a licensed commercial premises, and had serious head injuries.

"The man was subsequently taken to hospital, where he remains seriously ill following surgery. Police would like to hear from anyone who was socialising in the man's company earlier that evening at a function he attended in the Leighinmohr Avenue area.

"In particular, police would like to hear from anyone who was with the man between the hours of 1am and 2.30am.

"Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives in Ballymena on the non-emergency number, 101."

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