Belfast Telegraph

Romanian left with broken shoulder and stab wounds after attack by masked gang

Superintendent Steen added that detectives were still keen to hear from anyone with information that could assist in identifying those involved (stock photo)
Superintendent Steen added that detectives were still keen to hear from anyone with information that could assist in identifying those involved (stock photo)
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

A man attacked by a masked gang in Co Antrim suffered stab wounds and a broken shoulder, police have said.

He was one of five Romanian men targeted in an aggravated burglary around 8.20pm on Sunday night in the Hollybank Drive area of Newtownabbey.

District Commander Superintendent Sue Steen said Detectives were following a number of positive lines of enquiry.

"It is understandable that this incident has caused concern within the local community and I would reiterate our appeal for anyone with information to come forward," she said. "Whilst one of the victims has sustained a broken shoulder and stab wounds, the others thankfully sustained only minor injuries."

She said there could be no justification for the "vicious attack" or the extensive damage caused to the house.

"The actions of those responsible are not reflective of the wider community who have been vocal in their support for the victims," she said.

"At this stage, we can say that, contrary to some media reports, there is no evidence to suggest a firearm was discharged in or at the property."

The attack - believed to have involved loyalist paramilitaries - has been widely condemned by local residents and representatives.

It's believed the gang of masked men forced their way into the house, smashing the downstairs window and using baseball bats to assault the occupants - believed to be aged from their mid-teens to late 20s.

One woman who assisted the victims told the BBC of the terrifying scene she encountered.

"There was blood and glass everywhere and wee teenage boys upstairs in the back room were really frightened," she said.

In the main bedroom, a man aged 28 or 29 was lying on the floor with severe head injuries.

"He had been beaten with a baseball bat," she said.

"It looked as though his leg had been broken and he had a dislocated shoulder.

"His head was bleeding very badly."

Superintendent Steen added that detectives were still keen to hear from anyone with information that could assist in identifying those involved.

"It is not acceptable for anyone to be physically attacked or threatened in their home," she said.

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