Disabled man mugged in the town centre

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A registered disabled man - mugged by two “cowards” at the weekend - has called on other victims to “go public, call in the police and put a stop to this violent epidemic in the town”.

Chris Hyde (48) sustained bruising to his head and ribs after he was set upon in the Little West Street area at 7.30pm on Friday night by two young men wearing hoodies.

“They must have seen I walked with a limp, saw me as a soft target and jumped me,” he said. “I suffer from severe arthritis, and was out for a short walk as I need to do a wee bit of exercise.

“My wife had left one of our daughters to a youth club and had arranged to pick me up afterwards at Mandeville Street.”

During the attack, the father-of-four was wrestled to the ground, with one of the attackers holding him face-down while the other rifled his pockets.

He had all the money from his wallet stolen, including cash for his daughter’s birthday. “I didn’t know what had hit me,” he said.

Chris whose wife is expected another child in July. “I banged my head on the wall on the way down, they stole all the money from my wallet - which contained money for one of my daughter’s birthday. Then they raced off in the direction of the Fair Green and disappeared. It was all over in a minute.”

Chris sustained bruising to his head and ribs but managed to gather the credit card and other items from the ground. “Both spoke with foreign accents,” he said.

“They were about 5’8”, but I couldn’t get a good look at them through the hoodies and because it was dark. Thankfully, a couple of local men arrived and helped me. I called the police on my mobile, but the assailants were well away by them. The police arrived within five minutes and took all the details. They were very helpful.”

He added, “There have been so many muggings in Portadown, I believe that everyone involved should call the police, go public in the press and encourage any witnesses to co-operate fully with the police. These people are getting away with it, and they have to be caught. I was told there was similar mugging on a woman in the same area the previous weekend, and everyone must be on their guard. I’m on medication and strong pain-killers.

“In my prime, I could have defended myself very robustly, but I didn’t have a chance in these circumstances.”

Anyone with information should contact the police on 0845 600 8000 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.

after I got a taxi from my home at The Green, Carrickblacker, for a quiet drink at Robinson’s Bar in Edgarstown.