An unprovoked attack in a Cookstown bar has left 29-year-old man with a broken cheekbone and eye-socket, and fearing for his life he said.
David Spence, who said he knows his attacker, wants him to pay for what he has done.
The Tesco worker said he can’t see his three-year-old daughter because she’ll be afraid of his bruised and broken face.
“It’s hurting most that I can’t even see my daughter,” Mr Spence told the MAIL in an exclusive interview.
“It’s a serious offence what he has done,” he said, “I was told by the hospital that I could have been killed — If he had hit me any harder I would be dead.”
Doctors at both Craigavon and Dundonald hospitals, where Mr Spence was treated for his injuries after being taken there by ambulance, said his injuries were so serious that “they thought it was something that could have happened in a car accident,” he told our reporter.
And to put right the damage to his features, he was forced to endure a complicated three-and-a-half hour long operation, and now has no feeling in his teeth or face, and is having trouble both eating and sleeping.
“I have no feeling in my teeth and the right hand side of my face,” he said.
“I can’t eat anything but soft foods, it’s very difficult eating, and sleeping’s very difficult because I’m not to lie on that side, and I’m to avoid crowded areas.”
As well as Mr Spence’s visible injuries, he said he is also suffering from flashbacks, and that he is now living in fear for his safety.
“I’m afraid to go anywhere in case I get attacked again,” he added.
“I’ll never, ever go to a bar again for the rest of my life. And I’ll never go anywhere alone again.
“I can’t sleep and I keep going over and over it in my head, and it really annoys me that someone could be so cold — to do that.
“I was only having one drink... and then we were leaving and he just came
out of nowhere... he saw me standing there and he just hit me as hard as you can hit someone.
“He’s a big guy, and there’s not much to me, and he just walloped me full whack.
“I just want justice done,” he said.
Police, who confirmed their attendance at the scene, said that while a 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the assault, they have released him on bail pending further enquiries.
The attack took place in the William Street area of Cookstown around 11pm on Saturday, January 18.
Mr Spence was admitted to hospital that night and spent three days at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, after re-constructive surgery to correct his injuries.