Punishment victim tells how 9-year-old daughter tried to protect him

Punishment attack victim Gerald Lavey pictured in Altnagelvin this morning. DER1315MC009
Punishment attack victim Gerald Lavey pictured in Altnagelvin this morning. DER1315MC009
  • Masked men used iron bars with nails
  • nine-year-old tried to save her father
  • Father of two says he doesn’t know why he was targeted

A Derry man who is recovering in hospital after a punishment style beating at his Creggan home on Sunday night has spoken about how he feared he would be killed during the attack.

Gerald Lavey spoke to the Journal from his hospital bed this morning as he awaited surgery on several broken bones and other injuries.

I just kept waiting for somebody to come and help me. I thought nobody was ever going to come

Gerald Lavey, punishment attack victim

The father of two described how his masked attackers entered the property at Ballymagowan Avenue when a door had been left unlocked after a take-away delivery.

He said: “There were five or six of them. They had iron bars with nails in them. They grabbed me and grabbed my wee girl. She’s nine and she jumped on me to try and protect me. They pushed her to the side. I think they must’ve gotten in because the door wasn’t properly closed after we’d had a Chinese delivery.

“They beat me everywhere. Mostly my legs and I have to go for surgery on them because of all the broken bones. I just kept waiting for somebody to come and help me. I thought nobody was ever going to come,” he said.

The five masked men entered the property, where Mr. Lavey’s partner lives, shortly after 12am. Within a few hours of the attack, police received a report that wheelie bins had been placed against the door of the house and set alight, causing considerable damage to the property.

The 30-year-old father of two said he doesn’t know why he was targeted and he is unsure if he will return to the area. He said his entire family have been traumatised by Monday night’s incident.

PSNI Chief Inspector Tony Callaghan said: “Police work diligently to find evidence to bring those responsible before the courts. Paramilitary-style attacks have a significant impact on local communities and PSNI work alongside local communities to bring an end to those unacceptable violence. Those who are involved in paramilitary-style attacks do not represent the interests of any community nor contribute anything to it,” he added.