Derry woman believed husband was going to die in attack

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Media captionMargaret Doherty and her husband John were attacked outside their home

A Londonderry woman has said she thought her husband was going to die in an attack outside their home last year.

Margaret Doherty and her husband John were attacked in June 2012 after asking a group of young people to stop riding a scooter next to their home.

Jonathon McCusker, 20, from Blackstaff Mews, Belfast was jailed for two and a half years for the assault.

But Mrs Doherty said she also felt sorry for her attacker: "He's a very silly man for ruining his life."

The couple were outside their Shantallow home when the assault happened.

"I thought I got over it but when people talk to you about things it all flashes back," said Mrs Doherty.

"My husband was seriously hurt so watching that was very traumatic.

"I saw his eyes going funny at the time and I really did think he was going to die.

"At the time I didn't think about approaching young people but now I'm not sure I would go out and interfere. It has scared me."

John Doherty said he hit his head off the ground after being tripped and then "got a couple of kicks about the head and body".

"It was a terrible attack and I'm glad it went to court, because you would just hope it would stop other people being attacked, especially pensioners," he said.

McCusker, from Blackstaff Mews, in Belfast, was described as a "cowardly bully" at Londonderry Crown Court.

He pleaded guilty to assaulting the couple and their son-in-law outside their Greenhaw Avenue home in Londonderry.

Margaret Doherty added: "In a way I'm glad he will be out of harms way.

"I feel sorry for him though. It was such a silly thing to do and now part of his life has been taken away from him," she said.

"I'm not content anymore. Something has been taken from me and I just can't put it into words."

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