A single mother-of-two who was punched in the face in front of her children outside her home this week has said she is “living in fear.”
The woman, who asked not be named, sustained a black eye, bruising to her face, and three cracked ribs in the incident outside her Currynierin home on Monday afternoon.
The distraught mother said her attacker was a teenager who had called to her house collecting money for a bonfire and then threatened her son.
“There is a number of hoods in this area who have been creating problems for residents and they called to my house on Monday and asked for money for the bonfire. They are in their late teens to early 20s and some of them had bullied my eleven year-old son so I told them to go away.
“One of them then said I should take my son inside or he would get a beating and I told him not to be picking on children and that’s when he punched me in the face. I went down and cracked three of my ribs and hurt my arm when I fell,” she said.
The woman said she has been “in agony” since the attack. “I have been in severe pain but my children, including my four year-old son, witnessed it and they are traumatised. They have had difficulty sleeping since it happened and the younger one keeps crying. He saw his mother attacked in broad daylight outside our home,” she added.
The mother-of-two said she now plans to leave the Currynierin area. “I have lived there for ten years and I have great neighbours but I just can’t stay there after this.
“There is a group of young thugs and they are trying to take over the area and they are making life a misery for everyone else. It will be heartbreaking for me to leave but I have to,” she said.
Former mayor of Derry, councillor Lynn Fleming, condemned the incident and described it as “a new low.” “This was not just an attack on this young mother; it was an attack on the community. There is no place in society for this type of thing and those responsible need to be caught,” she said.
A PSNI spokesperson said: “A 17 year-old male was arrested for aggravated assault in relation to the incident. He has been released on bail pending further enquiries.”