Man ‘left for dead’

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A Bogside man who was attacked by a group of young people in Westland Street recently has said he was “left for dead” after the incident.

The man, who did not want to be identified, sustained a number of injuries in the incident, including a fractured eye-socket and cuts and bruises all over his body.

The incident occurred close to the top of Westland Street where large crowds of young people have been gathering in recent weekends.

He also said the gang left him laying unconscious behind a parked car following the attack. Speaking to the ‘Journal,’ the man said; “It was about 10pm on the 21st and I was walking home and I had just walked past a group of young people to get to my home when all of a sudden one of them grabbed me and hit me,” he said.

The Bogside man said the attack was totally unprovoked. “I didn’t say anything to them of even look at them; they just attacked me I didn’t even see how many of them there was or what ages they were because they were all wearing hooded tops.”

He also said he “blacked out” during the attack. “I went down and they continued to punch and kick me. They must have danced on my head because I just blacked out. I only woke up because I was choking on blood. At the hospital they told me that I was lucky it didn’t happen during the cold weather or I might not have woken up at all.

“They just attacked me out of the blue and they I was left for dead behind a car,” he said. The man said he is now afraid to leave his house at night. “This happened in front of my house and there aren’t any lights there. I never gave it a second thought before but after this attack I’m afraid to go to the shop when it’s dark. I’m not sleeping properly either,” he explained.

Last weekend a number of local residents staged a protest on Westland Street alongside members of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement but the man said the group do not speak for him. “They haven’t come near me even though people in the area knew about the incident. The only people who came to see me were from Sinn Féin. The people protesting last week were not acting on my behalf.

Local Sinn Féin councillor Colin Kelly condemned the attacked and called on everyone in the community to work together to find a solution to the problems in the area.