By Patricia Devlin
A MAGHERA man was left hospitalised after challeging a group of thugs attacking homes in his area.
It happened in the early hours of Saturday, November 17th after police received reports of youths kicking doors and running away in the Maghera housing area.
One of the householders, a 43 year-old man, gave chase to the group with a stick but was left badly beaten when the youths turned on him, removed the stick and assaulted him about the head.
He was taken to Antrim Area Hospital for treatment to his injuries and released from hospital later that day.
A 17 year old man was arrested on suspicion of GBH and possession of offensive weapon.
He was interviewed and later released on bail pending further enquiries.
DUP Mid-Ulster MLA Ian McCrea condemned those responsible for the attack and said anti-social behavior in the town had become a problem over recent times.
He said: “There has been an increase of anti-social behavior in the Maghera area of late and I have raised my concerns with the police demanding every effort is made to apprehend the people involved in this gang and bring them to justice before things get out of hand.”
“I wish this local man a speedy recovery and plead for anyone with information that could help police to bring it forward immediately.”
Local councillor Anne Forde also condemned the attack
She said: “This kind of behaviour cannot be allowed to continue, and I ask anyone who witnessed the attack or can give any information to the PSNI to aid them in bringing these thugs to justice.
“I wish the injured man a speedy recovery and hope that we can soon walk the streets of Maghera without fear of being attacked.”
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact detectives at Magherafelt on 0845 600 8000.
Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.