A Derry pensioner has been left badly shaken after he was attacked and beaten in his Rosemount home in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Michael McCafferty, 68, who lives alone in his Grafton Street home said that he heard a “loud bang” at his front door just before 3am yesterday.

Mr. McCafferty told the Sunday Journal that after he went outside to investigate he was set upon by two men. He sustained a cut below his right eye during the assault.

“I was at home on my computer when I heard a loud bang at my front door,” he said. “I went outside and saw that someone had thrown what looked like a hanging basket at the door.

“Then all of a sudden a man appeared down over a wall and I thought he had fallen. I thought he had hurt himself so I went to see if he was alright. It was then that another man who was about 6ft 1 appeared behind me and punched me in the face.

“Both men were around 19 or 20 and I couldn’t smell drink on their breath - it was a mindless attack.”

Mr. McCafferty said had it not been for his pet dog he almost certainly would have sustained serious injuries.

“It’s only a few cuts and bruises but had my dog not scared them off when he started to bark it could have been much worse.”

He added: “There are a lot of pensioners living in this street so for this to happen is just awful. I was in shock but I want people to know that this happened so that they can be on the look out. Thank God I am not too badly cut up.”

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Police in Strand Road are appealing for information following the report of an assault in the Grafton Street area of Derry in the early hours of yesterday morning.

“At approximately 3a.m. it was reported that a man had been assaulted. He went to hospital where he was treated for his injuries.

“Anyone who witnessed this incident or has any information in relation to it is asked to contact police in Strand Road on 0845 600 8000.”