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Belfast hammer hoods caught on CCTV - Man assaulted in front of terrified partner and kids

Attack: Doorbell camera footage of two of the thugs who invaded the home on Malfin Drive in Taughmonagh
Attack: Doorbell camera footage of two of the thugs who invaded the home on Malfin Drive in Taughmonagh
Ciaran Barnes

By Ciaran Barnes

These are the thugs behind a brutal robbery during which a Polish national was beaten with hammers in front of his partner and two-day-old baby.

The horrific home invasion attack, which is being investigated by police, took place on Malfin Drive in south Belfast's Taughmonagh estate on Thursday evening.

Footage obtained by Sunday Life shows three males wearing gloves, with their faces partly obscured with hats and scarves, forcing their way into the property.

The victim can be heard pleading with his attackers to leave him alone. Seconds later he screams in agony as they beat him with hammers and a crowbar. In the background, the Polish male's terrified partner shouts for help while their newborn baby - who she gave birth to just two days earlier - and an older toddler wail.

No one was at the address yesterday when Sunday Life called, with locals saying they believe the family has left the area.

Representatives of the UDA, which has a strong presence in Taughmonagh, are understood to have met with police to deny involvement - an explanation accepted by detectives.

A loyalist source told us: "This was a disgusting attack on someone who is very well liked. The local community is raging about it, especially as it happened in front of the fella's two young children."

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The names of the gang have been passed to the PSNI as has CCTV footage from a doorbell camera which clearly captured the face of the first robber to enter the property.

Our source added: "The idiots had no idea that they were being recorded. They thought they were the big men, beating an innocent fella in front of his babies. They won't be so tough when the cops lift them."

Detectives are working on the theory that the family was targeted in the mistaken belief they had a sizeable sum of money stashed in the property.

The father is a hard-working mechanic, who also does vehicle body and electrical repair work. The fact that he drove a nice car may have added to the misconception.

PSNI Detective Sergeant Eric Fairfield last night appealed for witnesses, confirming that the male was attacked with hammers and a crowbar.

He said: "They (the gang) demanded money and when they were told there was no money one of the males struck the male occupier of the house, who then ran upstairs where he was followed by one of the men, who then proceeded to punch him on the mouth. The intruders took a mobile phone and left the property. A woman and two young babies were also in the house at the time of this incident. Thankfully they were not injured.

"This was an extremely traumatic incident for all those involved. Whoever these intruders were they did not care there were two young babies present, they were intent on striking fear into those present."

Anyone with information has been asked to contact detectives on the non-emergency 101 number quoting reference 1592 03/10/19. Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

cbarnes@sundaylife.co.uk

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