Northern Ireland news

Teen (14) 'hit with hammer and knuckle duster' during north Belfast attack

Donna McBride with her son Patrick (14) who was attacked by four youths in the Deerpark area on Friday evening Picture Mal McCann.
Marie Louise McConville

THE mother of a teenage boy who was hit on the head with a hammer during an attack in north Belfast has told of how her son thought he was going to die.

Donna McBride said her 14-year-old son, Patrick Burns, is now too afraid to leave his Duneden Park home after he was repeatedly beaten about the head and body with a knuckle duster.

The Trinity College pupil and his friend were set upon by a gang of four youths as they walked near the junction of Alliance Avenue and Deerpark Road at around 8pm on Friday October 19, his mother said.

Ms McBride said her son was pushed to the ground from behind before being hit on the head with a hammer.

She said her son had to "curl up in a ball" to protect himself.

He eventually broke free from his attackers and fled to safety with the help of a friend who had run for help, she said.

Patrick arrived home with "his whole face was covered in blood".

Patrick Burns (14) who was attacked by four youths in the Deerpark area on Friday evening.

He underwent a brain scan and x-rays before his head wound was glued at the Mater Hospital.

"His head was all shapes. There was lumps and bumps where they must have kicked him."

The attack took place as large crowds of young people have been gathering in the area for arranged fights, organised on social media.

The blood-soaked top Patrick Burns (14) was wearing when he was attacked by four youths in the Deerpark area on Friday evening

"Somebody is going to end up getting killed," Ms McBride said.

"...Anyone who knows my Patrick, knows he is a quiet child. I have never had any problems with him. This is the first time he went out.

"I am really, really still in shock. These kids don't understand what they are doing. I want to warn other parents to know where their kids are and keep ringing them to make sure they are safe".

SDLP councillor Paul McCusker called on young people involved in organised fights to stop.

"This was a very serious attack on this young man. I know him, he's a quiet fella," he said.

"People don't want to see this. Young people need to be aware of the serious consequences this brings. We are asking them to stop".

Police have appealed for information.

Patrick Burns (14) who was attacked by four youths in the Deerpark area on Friday evening.

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