Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020

Man beaten with hammer as he lay in bed in suspected racist attack

A man has been left in fear for his life after three masked attackers burst into his home and battered him with a hammer in what police are treating as a racially motivated hate crime.

The assailants forced their way into Mark Piff’s flat in Dungiven, Co Derry, as he lay in bed shortly before midnight on Thursday.

Mr Piff said he was beaten over the head, body and legs with ‘hammers and other stuff’ while one of the men shouted racial abuse at him. He added: ‘I don’t want to go out anymore after the beating I have been given.’

Detective Inspector Peter McKenna said: ‘This was a vicious attack on a defenceless man in his own home.’

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have described it as an aggravated burglary.

Speaking to BBC Radio Foyle Mr Piff said he believes he was targeted ‘solely because of the colour of his skin’.

His attackers are described as ‘white males in their mid-twenties with local accents’ and all wearing scarves over their faces.

Sinn Fein councillor Sean McGlinchey said a number of residents were outraged by the assault, adding that Mr Piff ‘has the full support’ of locals.

Police appealed for any witnesses to come forward.

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