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EDITIONS
Saturday, 2 November, 2002, 17:51 GMT
Man nailed to fence in 'barbaric' attack
Stile at Dunmurry, on the outskirts of south Belfast
The man's hands were nailed to a stile in Dunmurry
The police have said they believe vigilantes carried out an attack in which a man was nailed to a post and had his legs broken on the outskirts of south Belfast.

Harry McCartan, 23, was set upon by a gang of men at Seymour Hill near Dunmurry at about 0345 GMT on Saturday.

His hands were nailed to fence posts in the attack.

A police spokesman described the attack as "barbaric and particularly vicious".

PSNI Superintendent Gerry Murray
Superintendent Gerry Murray: "I have never come across anything so barbaric"

Superintendent Gerry Murray said: "I have never come across anything so barbaric.

"This is a young man who was set upon by an unknown group who brutally beat him and then nailed him to a post."

Firefighters were called to the scene of the attack to help remove him.

Blood-stained

His father, Henry, said his son was last seen leaving his home in Poleglass on Friday to go to the social security office in Andersonstown.

Mr McCartan said he did not know why his son was attacked.

"His face was unrecognisable, I had to identify him by a tattoo on his arm," he said.

Henry McCartan: Father of man whose hands were nailed to fence posts in attack
Henry McCartan: Has no idea why his son was attacked

"He was covered in muck and he was bleeding from his eyes and bleeding from his ears."

Police have ruled out a sectarian motive for the attack and have appealed for anyone with information on the incident to come forward.

Detectives are examining a BMW car containing two blood-stained baseball bats which was stolen in the Dunmurry area early on Saturday morning.

It was later found near the Kennedy Centre in Anderstonstown.

They have also examined a red Rover car found near the scene of the attack.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Noreen Erskine
"Police say the attack may be linked to car theft"
Victim's father Henry McCarten
"He was bleeding from his eyes and his ears"
Supt Gerald Murray of the NI Police Service
"This man, as far as we are concerned at this stage, is innocent"
See also:

27 Jul 02 | N Ireland
26 Dec 01 | N Ireland
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