Attack victim Anthony McMahon left 'unrecognisable'

Image source, PSNI
Image caption,
CCTV images of Anthony McMahon have been released as part of a police appeal for witnesses

A man was so savagely beaten in County Antrim that his closest relatives did not recognise him and he will now need reconstructive surgery, police say.

Anthony McMahon was found unconscious and barely breathing in a pool of blood in a Newtownabbey car park on Tuesday.

The 59-year-old had sustained severe head and facial injuries, which police have described as "much more than serious - they are life-changing".

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has issued a new appeal for witnesses.

A police patrol gave emergency first aid to Mr McMahon after he was discovered near Longwood Road at about 22:40 BST.

'Breathtakingly violent assault'

Det Insp Chris Millar said police want the public's help to track down "the vicious perpetrators of this brutal and sustained attack".

The victim is "a well-known and well-liked individual" in Newtownabbey, he said.

"The injuries sustained by Mr McMahon are such that he was left unrecognisable to even his closest family members and will now have to undergo reconstructive surgery," added Det Insp Millar.

"We would like to hear from anyone who was in the Longwood Road area on Tuesday night.

"Whether you were just passing through, visiting the retail park or were there for any other reason, you may be able to help us.

"I cannot stress enough just how breathtakingly violent and wicked this assault was."