| 20.3°C Belfast

PSNI probes paramilitary-style assaults in Belfast and Coleraine

Close

The scene of the attack at Paxton Street in east Belfast in which a man was battered with baseball bats

The scene of the attack at Paxton Street in east Belfast in which a man was battered with baseball bats

The scene of the attack at Paxton Street in east Belfast in which a man was battered with baseball bats

Police are investigating two separate "brutal" paramilitary-style attacks in which two men were badly beaten with baseball bats.

They happened in Coleraine and east Belfast.

Three men were arrested after the Belfast attack.

Police received a report at around 10.20pm on Sunday that a man had been assaulted by a group of thugs armed with baseball bats in Paxton Street. The victim suffered injuries to his face, arms and his chest.

East Belfast DUP MLA Robin Newton described the baseball bat attack as "a brutal and disgraceful incident that should be condemned right across the community".

"At a time when the whole community is facing huge coronavirus health challenges, that thugs are prepared to carry out such a violent attack is unbelievable. These thugs are adding to the burden on the NHS," he said.

"There are tremendous acts of community support and kindness currently ongoing across the east of the city.

"This awful act of violence stands out in stark contrast from all the acts of community decency and support. I would appeal to anyone who can help the PSNI regarding this crime, please make use of the police 101 number."

Sergeant Jenny Foster said three men aged 20, 25 and 31 were later arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and possessing an offensive weapon. The three were later released pending a report to the PPS.

"Our enquiries are continuing and we would appeal to anyone who may have seen a silver Renault Megane in the area at the time, or anyone who may have witnessed this incident or has information which may assist our investigation, to call us on the non-emergency number 101 quoting reference 1646 of 19/04/20," she said.

Meanwhile, detectives are appealing for information following a similar attack at Glenvara Drive in Coleraine a couple of hours earlier.

Detective Inspector McKenna said: "Sometime between 7.30pm and 8pm it was reported that a number of men assaulted a man in his 20s who was out walking. The men, who had their faces covered, were armed with baseball bats. The man then made his way to a nearby property in the area, when he was taken to hospital for his injuries to his legs and arms. This was a brutal attack for which there is no justification. There is no place for attacks such as this in our society.

"If you have any information which may assist with our enquiries, please contact detectives on 101 quoting reference number 1518 19/04/20."

Information can also be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Belfast Telegraph