Gang with sledgehammers attack man in Co Antrim house

Victim suffers fractures, collapsed lung in ‘absolutely barbaric’ suspected paramilitary attack

The PSNI described the so-called punishment attack as ‘absolutely barbaric’. File photograph: EPA

The PSNI described the so-called punishment attack as ‘absolutely barbaric’. File photograph: EPA

 

A man in his 20s was seriously injured when attacked by a gang armed with sledgehammers and other weapons at a house in Co Antrim on St Patrick’s Day.

Police, who suspect it was some form of paramilitary so-called punishment attack, described the incident as “absolutely barbaric”.

Up to six men are believed to have been involved in the attack shortly before midnight on Tuesday in the Lisheegan Road area of Rasharkin.

The victim sustained a number of fractures and puncture wounds to his arms and legs and a collapsed lung, and is being treated in hospital.

A woman in the house, aged in her 50s, was held down on the floor by the intruders throughout the attack and was left with bruising to her face following the ordeal.

“This attack, which bears all the hallmarks of a paramilitary style assault, was absolutely barbaric and has left a young man in hospital with horrendous injuries today,” said the senior investigating PSNI detective inspector.

“The physical injuries will hopefully heal with time but this incident will likely affect both victims for a very long time,” he added.

“There is no place in our society for such attacks and we are now working to establish a motive and to find those responsible,” said the officer.

Police urged anyone with any information about the attack to contact detectives in Coleraine.