The victim of a vicious attack this week in Glengormley was the target of a pipe bomb attack in June in what the North Belfast News understands is an ongoing campaign of intimidation.
The Belfast business owner was hospitalised on Tuesday evening (August 6) when three men burst into his house in the Mayfield Estate off the Hightown Road. They assaulted the man before making their way to the nearby community centre where they hijacked a car before making their getaway.
One eye witness, who seen the attackers steal the escape car after the assault at the house, said it was a horrifying incident.
“The Slimming World class was on in the Community Hall and a man was just waiting outside for his wife to come out.
“These three men came over and smashed the window with a hammer and pulled him out of the car and then drove off.”
The green Ford Fiesta was later found burning in Rosapenna Court.
The North Belfast News understands the man who was assaulted has fallen foul of a criminal gang operating in North Belfast. They were behind the planting of the pipe bomb outside the businessman’s house on June 16. On that occasion the device was made safe by British Army Technical Officers but only after widespread disruption was caused with people being evacuated from their homes.
Both attacks were carried out in broad daylight.
Helen Callaghan from Mayfield Village Community Assocation said she was alarmed that the incident had taken place in broad daylight with children playing in the street.
And Sinn Féin’s Gerry O’Reilly said the incidents had to stop.
“We condemn this incident which saw a vicious attack being launched on a resident of the Mayfield area. There is no place in this country for such violence. Those who carry out these cowardly attacks have no support or endorsement from the people living here. These incidents must stop and I appeal to anyone who has any information in regards to this criminal attack to contact the police as soon as possible.”
Newtownabbey Borough Councillor John Blair from Alliance who visited the scene said he was horrified at what had taken place.
“Apart from the obvious horror these people brought into someone's own residence today, there's also the rather horrifying fact that they left that property and in day light in an area where children were playing walked down the main street to take a car off its owner."
A PSNI spokeswoman issued descriptions of men who were involved in the attack.
“The first man involved was described as being around 6' tall of medium build and was wearing a grey coloured hooded top. The second was also around 6' tall and of medium build. The third man involved was wearing a black top and bottoms and a baseball cap. The occupant of the house was later treated in hospital for injuries that are not thought to be life threatening.”
BY Evan Short