Friday, June 10, 2005


Gang 'gave beaten woman 24 hrs to leave'

A woman who was beaten with baseball bats in a brutal paramilitary attack was warned she had 24 hours to leave her home, it emerged today.

Detectives said three masked men forced their way into the house in Ballymoney, Co Antrim and assaulted the 56-year-old in her bedroom. The woman, who was alone, was battered around the body before the gang ransacked her house.

She was treated for severe bruising at Causeway Hospital, Coleraine and released this morning.

Detective Inspector Nicholas McCaw said the woman heard bangs at her door around 11.30pm yesterday.

Mr McCaw said: "She got out of her bed and, before she managed to open the door, three men burst in wearing balaclavas, dark clothing and carrying baseball bats.

"They then proceeded to assault the lady, striking her down both sides of her body. The men ransacked the house, smashing furniture with the bats. Then they told her she had 24 hours to get out of the house."

The gang left the scene in a white saloon type vehicle but police do not know if they drove off in the direction of Dervock or Armoy.

The woman is married but her husband was not at home at the time of the attack. Nothing was stolen from the house.

On a motive, Mr McCaw said: "It has all the hallmarks of a paramilitary attack. We are following a line of inquiry connected to loyalist paramilitaries in the North Antrim area."

He added: "This was an absolutely horrific attack and has to be condemned by all right-thinking people."

Sean Farren, SDLP Assembly member for North Antrim, said he was shocked by the violent assault.

Mr Farren said: "This was a brutal and horrifying attack in which a woman was battered with baseball bats. There can be no possible justification for acts like this and there can be no toleration of them either."

Mr Farren said people who felt they could "dispense this type of punishment" were a threat to everyone and needed to be taken out of society. He said anyone with information about those responsible should inform police so the gang could be put before the courts.


This is absolutely sickening and disturbing. It's all well and good asking for the IRA to be taken out of society but what about loyalist paramilitaries who are engaging in this type of thing? What sort of depraved scumbags feel it is acceptable to beat up a woman in her own home with baseball bats? Will the Unionists come out and condemn this attack? Will Loyalists come under the spotlight this time? I hope so but I won't hold my breath.


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