10 June 2005

BBC

Couple to move after gang attack


The gang broke into this house in Ballymoney

The husband of a woman beaten by a gang armed with baseball bats in County Antrim has said they will be selling their home and moving out.

Police are linking the attack on the 56-year-old in Ballymoney to loyalist paramilitaries.

The woman was in bed when three masked men forced their way into her house in Mosside at about 2330 BST on Thursday.

She was beaten with baseball bats and is being treated in hospital for severe bruising to her arms and body.

The gang ransacked the house before fleeing towards Armoy. Police are still investigating a motive.

However, they said their main line of inquiry was a link between the attack and loyalist paramilitary activity in the north Antrim area.

Detective Inspector Nick McCoy said the woman was subjected to an "horrific" ordeal.

"It is an attack that has to be condemned by any right thinking person in the community," he said.

'No justification'

"We are keen to bring these people to justice and we need the community's help.

"If anybody has any information out there please contact the detectives at Ballymoney."

The woman's husband, who was at work at the time of the attack, described those responsible as "cowards".

Sean Farren, SDLP assembly member for North Antrim, said the attack was "brutal and horrifying".

"There can be no possible justification for acts like this and there can be no toleration of them either," he said.


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