The mum of a Ballykelly teen assaulted by a gang in the village says she is disgusted and sickened by the attack - and she believes it may have been videoed.
The woman says her 13 year-old son was left shaken by the assault, which happened on Sunday afternoon on Clooney Road near the old Glasvey school. The boy’s injuries included a cut to his lip and swelling on his face. Two boys arrested at the time, aged 12 and 15, have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.
“This is every mother’s worst nightmare to know your child has been assaulted,” she told the ‘Journal’. “It may have been videoed, which is sickening, and I would warn parents to check up on what their children are up to online.”
The woman said her son was with a friend when the assault happened. He managed to get away initially, but was surrounded a short time later. He then ran to a neighbour’s house for help.
“This happened in broad daylight, and it was pointless. My son is not a troublemaker and this has left him shaken and distraught. The mental anguish is worse for him than the physical because he’s annoyed he let this happen. If he hadn’t got away when would it have stopped?”
The woman, who stressed Ballykelly is a close-knit community, said she and her son had been inundated with messages of support.
“People are concerned it happened and fear it could have been worse,” she said.
The woman praised the police. “They’ve been great and very good at communicating with me and letting me know what’s going on.They’ve been on the ball.”
The woman urged parents to talk to their children.
“You hear of children organising fights through social networking sites and things like that so I would ask all parents to speak out about any anti-social behaviour they’re aware of and not to be afraid to speak out about it. If you don’t speak out, the thugs and bullies will win, and you can’t let them take over the community.”
Police have appealed for anyone with information to contact them on 0845 600 8000 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111.