Assault ‘could have killed’

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A “brutal” attack in Dungiven by a gang wielding bats could have killed the 23-year-old victim, a local councillor has said.

The victim, who was hospitalised after the attack, was assaulted outside a bar on Main Street in the town between 2.30am and 3am on June 13.

Police yesterday issued a fresh appeal about the early morning attack.

They say the four assailants, some of whom were armed with bats, made off in a red car and a white Transit van.

It is also thought the gang may have used a sledgehammer.

“The victim was treated in hospital for wounds to the head,” said a PSNI spokesperson, who appealed to anyone with information to contact them.

Sinn Fein councillor in Dungiven, Sean McGlinchey said there is outrage in the community at the incident.

“I have visited with the young fella and his injuries are shocking. His whole family is devastated and the whole town is just shocked and disgusted,” he said.

Colr. McGlinchey said the attack could have resulted in a much more serious situation.

“The wrong knock and this young fella could have been killed,” he said.

“People need to understand they can’t take the law into their own hands. If they see what they did to this young man, the shape they left him in, they would realise it’s a step too far.”

He added: “How many times have we seen incidents like this where someone ends up dead. These type of incidents cannot be tolerated.”

SDLP Colr. Michael Coyle in Dungiven said he utterly condemned the attack.

“We are extremely lucky today the victim was hospitalised and not killed,” he said. “The apparent force of the attack was horrific and people in Dungiven are shocked and do not want to see such events happening on their streets. I call on anyone with information, no matter how trivial, to contact the police or use the anonymous Crimestoppers or go to one of their councillors.”