Thursday, 17 August 2017

INVESTIGATIONS are continuing this week into the circumstances surrounding the abduction and assault of a 22-year-old local man.

PSNI Detective Sergeant Brian Reid, who is leading the investigation, said the victim was walking in the Carlton Drive area at around 11pm last Thursday night when a grey van pulled up alongside him.

"He was pulled inside the vehicle, had a hood placed over his head, and had his hands and feet bound. The van was then driven some distance out of the town before stopping and a vicious assault being carried out on the male by a number of men," he said.

 The man was then driven back to the town and left in Bradley Way just before midnight.

 "The victim sustained some serious injuries during this ordeal including a large gash to the head and a suspected broken arm," added detective Reid.

"While the injuries are not life threatening, this was a horrifying attack that will have had a major impact on the victim and his loved ones."

 Detective Reid appealed for community help in identifying the perpetrators of this crime. "There can be no justification for criminal groups carrying out such brutal attacks, attempting to control communities through fear and violence," he said

Condemning the incident, the chairman of the Derry and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership, Alderman Drew Thompson, said such attacks were 'not acceptable in our community'.

"The abduction and attack on this young man cannot and should not be justified," said Alderman Thompson.


"The criminal gang that carried out the assault have no concern for people living in the area no matter what rationale they put forward. This attack follows the brutal shooting of a man in the Bogside earlier in the week and the attempted bombing of a pensioner's home in Strabane.

"Anyone with information on any of these crimes should contact the PSNI or Crimestoppers immediately."

Local politicians were also swift to condemn the incident.

The SDLP's West Tyrone MLA., Daniel McCrossan, said he completely condemned the abduction and called for anyone with any information to get in touch with the authorities.


"I completely condemn this disturbing attack. This man has been left seriously injured by those who think they can take the law into their own hands," he said.

"Strabane has witnessed a spate of attacks on individuals and families in recent months, which is completely unacceptable. The message must be put out there, and it must be clear, that these attacks have no place in our society.

"I have been liaising closely with the PSNI on this crime and I'd ask anyone who has any knowledge of the criminals involved or their movements to ring 101 and give this vital information to the authorities. Only then can we weed this type of criminal activity out of our communities."


Sinn Féin MLA., Michaela Boyle, said regardless of whatever reasons being used to justify this attack, there could be absolutely no justification given for subjecting this young man to such a terrifying and brutal ordeal.

"As with two equally despicable pipe-bomb attacks carried out against local people in Strabane in recent weeks, people of the town are shocked and horrified at hearing about what happened," she said.

 "Such actions do not only have a devastating impact on the victim and the victim's family but they diminish us all as a wider community.

 "Those involved in last Thursday night's and other recent attacks need to heed the will of the people of community for all such squalid attacks to end and to be allowed to live in peace without the fear of any form of oppression from within," she said.

Local independent councillor, Patsy Kelly, also condemned what had happened saying such activities had no place in Strabane and only served to give the town a bad name.

A spokesman for the PSNI yesterday afternoon (Tuesday) confirmed that investigations were ongoing in the matter and renewed the appeal for any information that might help.

"Detectives investigating this incident can be contacted on 101 quoting reference number 1532 10/08/17. If someone would prefer to provide information without leaving their name, they can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111," he said.


Subscribe to read full newspaper »

Send to a friend

Please complete the following form to inform a friend about this page.

In order to process your information we must ask you to enter the letters in the image into the box:

CAPTCHA Image play audio version Reload Image

* Mandatory field - please complete