Teenager survives UDA murder bid
A Catholic teenager has described how he was slashed and beaten
with a hammer in a vicious sectarian attack in north Belfast
The unionist paramilitary UDA have been blamed for the attack.
The teenager, who did not want his identity revealed, was
slashed with a razor-sharp blade. Doctors used more than 40
staples to seal his wounds.
Marks from a hammer used by the assailants are still clear six
days after the incident, which happened on the Antrim Road.
"I thought I was going to be killed. If it wasn't me, it would
have been someone else," he said.
Three men, brandishing a claw hammer and knife, targeted the
18-year-old in the early hours of Sunday.
"I saw three fellas across the road with their hoods up," he
"One crossed the road - I thought he was walking home. He just
stopped and turned around and the other two attacked me from
"Out of the corner of my eye I saw a glimpse of a fella running
across the road with a hammer in his hand.
"I just remember getting kicked and hit over the head with a
hammer. I thought 'I'm dead'."
The victim said that if the gang had not abruptly halted their
assault - which he believes may have been interrupted by a
passing car or someone else in the street - he would have been
"They said 'You're lucky you fenian bastard'. Then they just
disappeared, ran off," he said.
The teenager, who has just been released from hospital, said he
was struggling to come to terms with his trauma.
"When I went to sleep I had a bit of a nightmare and woke up
shaking," he said.
"I was very shocked, I still am. I don't think I will ever get
* A former British soldier who joined the UDA was jailed for
six years yesterday. Mark Pilling, who moved to Derry ten years
ago, admitted conspiracy to murder, intimidation, possessing
guns and explosives and UDA membership.