Man will never walk home alone after golf club attack

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A MAN left covered in blood after being hit in the face with a golf club by a stranger has said he will never walk the few hundred yards home alone from town again.

The 57-year-old Banbridge native was returning to his Primrose Gardens home from a night out in the town centre earlier this month when a man aged around 20 years old approached him from behind and asked for a cigarette lighter.

The victim, who did not want to be named, was then struck in the face with the golf club, before falling to the ground and being hit again.

From there the local man, who was on the Ballygowan Road at the time of the attack, said his memory is vague. He had been out with friends in one of the town’s pubs and was walking home at around 1.15am on Monday, August 6.

“I only get out once a month or so,” he told the Leader. “That night the others were getting a taxi home but I said ‘No, it’s a nice night, I’ll walk’.

“I was about 250 yards from home when I noticed a young man behind me. He asked for a lighter and I said I didn’t have one. The next thing I was hit in the face.”

The man said he has been left with facial injuries including black and blue bruises more than a week after the incident.

“I look like I’ve fallen out of a moving train,” he said. “I was left covered in blood and cut from the fall. My left eye was completely closed over. I’ve had severe headaches and dizzy spells ever since.”

The man, who said his 88-year-old mother, whom he lives with, had been left distressed by the incident. He also expressed his fears since the assault.

“I have lived in Banbridge all my life and have always felt safe,” he said. “But I would not be walking home again. No way, not after that.

“I have no enemies. I have always lived a quiet life and for this to happen is shocking.

“I read about things like this but never thought it would happen to me.”

The attacker is described as approximately twenty years of age, tall, of thin build and having short, sandy hair.

Anyone who witnessed the assault or who has any information is asked to contact police at Banbridge on 0845 600 8000 or on 0800 555 111.