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Man loses hearing after savage attack

By Evan Short

The distraught mother of a young New Lodge man, who was so badly beaten in a weekend street attack he has lost hearing in one ear, has appealed for eyewitnesses to come forward so the culprit can be charged.

Martin Ward, 23, was walking back to his Spamount Street home in the early hours of Saturday morning (April 19) after a night out with friends when he was beaten to the ground by a number of men and viciously assaulted.

Despite being knocked unconscious, his attackers continued to beat him and he will now have to have two metal plates inserted into his face by a plastic surgeon at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.

Speaking to the North Belfast News, Martin’s mother Geraldine says they know who is behind the attack but fear is stopping people from making statements.

“We know who did it. He has been on social media admitting to it, but everyone is afraid to say anything.

“The beating he got was awful. The police have kept his clothes because of the footprints on them where they were kicking him when he was punched to the ground.”

Paramedics were quickly on the scene and Martin was rushed to the Mater. But due to the severity of his injuries he had to be transferred to Dundonald for facial surgery, which is due to take place on Friday morning.

“The doctor said he has 17 small fractures in his face and somehow had his windpipe slashed on the inside,” said Geraldine. “They don’t know how that happened but think it was from the beating. He’s in agony, God love him.

“I’m convinced they were trying to kill him. How can you do so much damage if all you want to do is hand out a beating? They danced all over him.”

Geraldine said the support of her neighbours has been of great comfort.

“We have people at the door all the time with get well soon cards and flowers. I just don’t know why this happened. Martin doesn’t really go out.”

A spokeswoman confirmed they were investigating an assault and appealed to the public for information.

“Enquiries are continuing and police would appeal to anyone who was in the area and witnessed the assault to contact your local police station on the new non emergency number 101 or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

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