Northern Ireland

Garvagh shooting: Girl offers gunmen piggy bank to save dad

The house on Kurin Lane
Image caption The police said the traumatised girl offered her piggy bank money to save her father from gunmen

A gang of masked men shot a man and also threatened to shoot his teenage daughter who had offered them her piggy bank money to leave her family alone.

The man, who is in a stable condition in hospital, has "potentially life-changing injuries" after the attack in Garvagh, County Londonderry.

He was shot in the arms and legs and beaten with a bat in what the police said was a paramilitary-style attack.

The gang also chased the girl and tried to set fire to items in the house.

'Petrified'

Police said the man is being treated for gunshot wounds and head injuries and his daughter has been left "severely traumatised".

The teenager's phone was stolen to prevent her calling for help.

She was upstairs when the gang broke into the property on Kurin Lane shortly before 22:30 BST on Saturday.

The intruders chased the girl in the house and threatened her when she hid from them, according to the PSNI Limavady Facebook page.

"She came out petrified with her Piggy Bank, HER PIGGY BANK! hoping that the men would take it and leave her dad alone," one outraged officer wrote.

"Instead they stole her phone and shot her dad. My heart is broken for this girl.

"It makes me feel physically sick and enraged to my core," the PSNI post added.

'Brutality'

In a statement, Det Ch Insp White said: "This a sickeningly vicious shooting and beating which has left this man with serious and potentially life-changing injuries, and a young girl severely traumatised,

"What sort of men would think it is acceptable to subject a young girl to this level of brutality and violence?

"Every child has the right to feel safe and protected in their own home - how is this poor child going to sleep tonight or in coming nights? What are the long term effects on her going to be?"

"It's quite obvious the hypocrites who carried out this dreadful attack don't care at all about the children in their community. I wonder how they would feel if their own child witnessed such a level of violence?

"There is absolutely no justification for an attack like this in our communities and we must all work together to bring those responsible to justice and to stop this from happening to another child."

Image caption DUP councillor Sam Cole said the incident has left the girl "traumatised"

DUP councillor Sam Cole said the girl was awoken by the "commotion" downstairs.

Mr Cole told BBC News NI: "She came down and saw the masked men. She pleaded with them and offered them her piggy bank with money in it to just leave her daddy alone.

"But it wasn't enough and they went ahead and shot the middle-aged man in the knees and arms and bludgeoned him as well.

"It's left the young girl traumatised.

"They took her phone because they thought she might alert the police so she ran to a neighbour in a really distressed, traumatic state."

Earlier this month, the Department of Justice launched a hard-hitting advertisement campaign aimed at changing public attitudes to paramilitary attacks.

At that point they said there had been 87 such attacks over the past year.

Related Topics

More on this story