Couple targeted in vicious gang assault left ‘traumatised’

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Couple targeted in vicious gang assault left ‘traumatised’ thumbnailDwayne Bratton who was attacked on his way home from a night out in Omagh in the early hours of Saturday.

A LOCAL couple, who were subjected to a violent assault in Omagh town in the early hours of Saturday morning, now plan to move as they no longer feel safe in the area.

Dwayne Bratton 30, and his fiancee, Sinead McAleer, 36, had been walking home after enjoying a night out in the town when they were attacked on High Street by a "gang of up to eight men".

Speaking to the Tyrone Constitution, Vicky Bratton, Dwayne's sister, said the perpetrators knocked Dwayne to the ground and "kicked him until he was unconscious". A passer-by, who called the emergency services, first believed he had been struck by a car. Sinead was also assaulted in the incident which happened at approximately 2.30am. Both victims were treated at hospital for their injuries.

"The gang emerged from an entry close to the Ulster Bank and surrounded them," said Vicky.

"They struck Dwayne twice and he was knocked to the ground. Dwayne told Sinead to run and then she was also hit to the ground.

"Dwayne rolled himself into a ball to protect himself from the gang. They repeatedly beat and kicked him until he was knocked unconscious. I don't know if alcohol was involved but it's not an excuse."

Continuing, Vicky said her brother and his fiancee have been left "traumatised" by the incident.

"Dwayne is very sore and had to have his eye glued together at the South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen," she added. "His face is very swollen and he has a black eye. He's very fortunate it's not much worse.

"They're both been extremely quiet since the incident and don't want to leave the house, even during the day.

"They are planning on moving out of Omagh now as they don't feel safe in the town any longer. They feel like they can't even go out for a drink and walk home any more."

Vicky believes this was a random attack. "They didn't know or recognise any of those involved," she said.

"I feel these people were simply waiting on someone to appear and unfortunately it happened to be Dwayne and Sinead."

Speaking on social media, Dwayne's mother said: "This is just heartbreaking for me to know that there is scum out there who would actually do this to someone's son. While I sleep in my bed he is getting attacked on the street.

"It's probably fun for them but they don't think of the devastating aftermath of what they have done. This has affected all of my family terrible. Hopefully they will be brought to justice for their actions."

Appealing for anyone with information relating to the incident to come forward, a spokesperson for PSNI said: "Police in Omagh received a report that a man and woman had been assaulted by two men near the Courthouse in High Street at around 2.30am on Saturday, February 18. The man and woman were treated for facial injuries following the incident.

"Police would ask anyone with any information about this incident to contact officers in Omagh on 101 quoting reference number 181 18/02/17 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."


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