THE POLICE Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) are today appealing for information from the public following a "vicious and prolonged attack" in North Belfast.
The attack took place at approximately 9.30pm on Sunday, 15th December, when four masked persons forced their way into a property in which a man and woman were staying.
The attackers, believed to have been armed with a knife and handgun, attacked the two victims, ransacked the house and assaulted the man before seperating the two victims and kidnapping them.
The man was forced into a white ford transit van and the woman forced into a red Mercedes SUV. Both victims were held and driven around the area for a period of time before being left in the parked bvehicles near Ardoyne.
Eventually the male victim was able to free himself and alert authorities at approximately 11.15pm. The female victim was subsequently located and freed from the SUV, and her condition was described as "understandably terrified but physically unharmed".
Detective Inspector Michael McDonnell condemned the attack as the PSNI launched an appeal for information.
“This was a despicable, vicious and prolonged attack which has left the victims very shaken. I am appealing to anyone within the Landsdowne Road area to think about any vehicles or persons they may have seen in the area in recent days and weeks who may have been acting suspiciously.
“In particular, I am appealing to anyone in the area with CCTV, or indeed anyone with a dashcam who was driving in the area from 9pm through to 11.30pm on Sunday 15th December, to review their footage and contact Detectives at Musgrave quoting reference number 2004 15/12/19.
“Any information which may seem irrelevant could potentially be of great significance as part of our overall investigation.”
“Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”