Man stabbed and beaten in east Belfast attack

Police and the NI Ambulance Service were called to the scene of the stabbing in east Belfast. Credit: PA

A man is in hospital after being stabbed several times in the back and beaten around the head in what police say was a “vicious attack” in east Belfast.

The incident happened in an alleyway near Clandeboye Street and Epworth Street shortly after midnight, in the early hours of Friday.

The victim, aged in his 40s, was set upon by three males – one who is described as being aged around 35 and two who are thought to be aged around 16.

All three suspects wore tops with hoods that were pulled up and scarves covering part of their faces.

PSNI Detective Sergeant Dave Verner said: “This was a nasty and vicious attack on the victim who has sustained injuries to his back and his head.

“Enquiries to establish exactly what occurred and why are underway and I want to appeal to anyone who was in the area shortly after midnight and witnessed the attack, or who saw any suspicious activity, to call our detectives at Musgrave on 101.”

Alliance councillor Michelle Kelly expressed shock at the brutal nature of the attack.

“Knives have no place on our streets and are a danger to everybody, including those who carry them,” she said.

“My thoughts go out to the victim. I hope he will be able to make a recovery from the serious injuries he has sustained.

“I urge anyone with information on this incident to contact police about it immediately.”

DUP MLA Robin Newton said: “Those who carried out this vicious attack, two of whom are thought to be teenagers, must be condemned by all right thinking people.

“There can be no place in our society for such actions.”

He added: “The PSNI need support from all sections of our community to stop this level of thuggery.

“I would appeal to anyone who has even the smallest piece of information to help by bring those responsible to justice by contacting the non-emergency 101 number.”