Doorstep attack on Jimmy Carr and mother while canvassing

SDLP Derry City Council candidate Jimmy Carr, who was subjected to a vicious assault while canvassing in Carnhill.
SDLP Derry City Council candidate Jimmy Carr, who was subjected to a vicious assault while canvassing in Carnhill.

A Derry election candidate has described his horror after both he and his mother were subjected to a vicious assault while canvassing in Derry.

SDLP Derry City Council candidate Jimmy Carr (26) and his mother Marie (56) were in the Carnhill area of Derry canvassing for the forthcoming elections last night (Tuesday) when they were subjected to a vicious assault.

Mrs Carr was left so traumatised by what happened that she couldn’t sleep last night, her son said.

The incident happened at around 7.40pm as they chatted to a local woman on her doorstep.

Jimmy, who was himself seeking medical advice yesterday after being repeatedly kicked and punched in the attack, said:

“It was an absolute disaster, I was standing at a door speaking to a lady when this fellow and girl approached from a height from the houses across the way and jumped off a wall shouting.

“I couldn’t hear what they were saying but I don’t believe it was directed at us and my mother spoke and told them we were we just there canvassing.

“I diffused the situation, sorted it out, the next thing the man got involved. He went into the garden next door and jumped over the fence and just started throwing punches at me, going absolutely ballistic.

“I was on the ground getting kicked and punched repeatedly around the head. Then my mother was attacked as well, he was also hit and then all of a sudden there were other people there trying to stop it, including neighbours of this woman.”

He added: “To be honest I have never experienced anything like this in my life before. I have bumps all over my head.

“I wouldn’t be a push over but this guy was an absolutely animal.

“I am young and fit enough but I still don’t want to be getting attacked, abused, violently assaulted in the street and I certainly do not want my mother getting attacked.

“My mother is completely traumatised. She didn’t sleep a wink last night.

“To be honest my main concern is my mother. You only have the one at the end of the day, and I am really angry somebody would do this.” 
Mr Carr said that he never ever thought such a thing would happen, especially in Carnhill, which he described as “one of the nicest areas I have ever been in”.

The PSNI have confirmed that a 28-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman were arrested following a report of an assault in the Carnhill area on Tuesday.

A spokesperson said: “Shortly after 7.40pm it was reported that a man was assaulted in the area. It is not believed the man received any serious injuries. It was also reported that a female is believed to have assaulted during the incident.”

He added: “Both persons are currently assisting police with their inquiries.”

An SDLP spokeswoman meanwhile said today: “The party can confirm that two people have been arrested in connection with the alleged incident involving one of the party’s councillors. As it is a live investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”