Residents of Hollybank Drive in Newtownabbey were surprised by a ‘sickening’ incident that took place in one of the houses.
A group of men clad in balaclavas broke into a house belonging to Romanian men and brutally attacked the occupants. The attack began with the attackers breaking the downstairs windows before forcing their way into the Co Antrim home. They then started assaulting the five men that were inside with baseball bats.
The five Romanian men, aged between mid-teens and late twenties, sustained severe injuries after the brutal attack. One of the occupants had to seek further medical attention due to severities of his injuries.
Many believe that loyalist paramilitaries are at fault of the attack.
Shouting and noise from breaking glass alerted a couple of neighbors who saw the attackers as they were breaking into the house.
A witness who responded first to aid the victims recalled the disturbing scene in the house that reminded her of the ‘Troubles’ times.
All of the windows were smashed, and the house turned upside down. The assailants had also kicked some doors in.
One of the men, in his late twenties, was found in the main bedroom bleeding profusely. His head was bleeding a lot after being hit repeatedly with the baseball bats. One of his shoulders was dislocated, and he appeared to have a broken leg. The man was in serious pain and shock.
The attack left the Hollybank Drive community appalled. Alliance councilor Tom Campbell and other local politicians condemned the attack and those who orchestrated the heartless incident.
Tom Campbell said that the attack seemed to be a hate crime planned and executed by individuals who are part of the paramilitaries. He added that the community does not offer any support to any individual or activities involved with the paramilitaries.
Michael Goodman, Sinn Fein councilor, also condemned the responsible perpetrators. He said, “There can be no place for racism or any other forms of discrimination in our society.” The SDLP councilor said the society holds no place for violence and that the responsible group must be held accountable and face the law without mercy.
Witnesses or any other individual with information that might help detectives are urged to contact the police through the number 101.