BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 January 2008, 11:57 GMT
Thugs 'left grandfather for dead'
Sam Brown was beaten unconscious by four men
Sam Brown was beaten unconscious by four men
A man was left for dead by a gang who attacked him close to a police station after he phoned the emergency services to report that a taxi was on fire.

Sam Brown, 57, was walking along the Shankill Road in Belfast after a night out when he was attacked by the youths who had set the car alight.

Mr Brown suffered a fractured skull and cheekbone, a broken leg and nose, and a crushed ankle in the attack.

His daughter, Susan, said he was lucky to have survived the ordeal.

"He noticed a black taxi was on fire so he got out his mobile phone to ring the fire brigade," she said.

"One of the young fellas came up to him and asked him what he was doing.

"He told them there was a taxi on fire and that he was phoning the fire service.

"Then he was hit on the head and he remembers nothing, when he woke up he was in hospital.

"He ended up with two breaks to the lower part of his knee. His ankle was crushed. A broken nose, a fractured cheekbone and a fractured skull.

Sam Brown's broken leg
Mr Brown's ankle was crushed in the attack

"The police said that if he had tried to fight back they would definitely have killed him."

Ms Brown said her father told her he had been attacked by about four men in their early 20s.

"This is a 57-year-old man who has three kids and six grandkids, these young fellas left him for dead," she said.

"When I went into hospital to see him I nearly collapsed.

"His face was so swollen up so much the only way I could recognise him was by his tattoos."

The attack happened in the early hours of 15 December while Mr Brown was making his way home from a family party.

This happened just 200 yards from a police station
Susan Brown

He was found by a passing police patrol car shortly afterwards.

"The police said they had nothing on cameras or anything to show any of the incident happening," Ms Brown said.

"This happened just 200 yards from a police station and they didn't notice it.

Since the attack, his daughter said Mr Brown was too frightened to leave his house.

"He is having nightmares and is having difficulty sleeping and is having to take tablets.

"I feel disgusted, the people who did this are scum."

A police spokesman said they were actively investigating both the assault and arson attack.

"We would appeal to anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information to contact police at Tennent Street on 0845 600 8000 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111," he said.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific