Attempt to set two people on fire in Downpatrick 'incredibly sinister': SDLP councillor

St John's Mews/Pound Lane Downpatrick - Google imageSt John's Mews/Pound Lane Downpatrick - Google image
St John's Mews/Pound Lane Downpatrick - Google image
​A stabbing attack and attempt to set two people on fire in Co Down has been described as “incredibly sinister”.

Police said the incident – which is being treated as attempted murder – occurred at a property in Downpatrick in the early hours of Wednesday.

A man in his 40s was stabbed in the face, and both the man and a woman then had petrol thrown over them, before the assailant tried to set them on fire at a property in the St John’s Mews area.

Their injuries are described as non life-threatening.​

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Downpatrick councillor Conor Galbraith said the attack could have had tragic consequences.

"Two people were taken to hospital as a result and it’s extremely lucky that nobody has been left with life threatening injuries or worse as a result of this senseless attack,” he said.

“The use of a knife and petrol in this incident are incredibly sinister and could have had tragic consequences.

"This will have been an incredibly traumatic experience for those attacked and everyone caught up in this incident.

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"My thoughts are with them and I hope that those hurt make a full and quick recovery.

“I would appeal for anyone with any information about what happened here to come forward to police and help them with their investigation.

"Nobody wants to see incidents like this in our community and those responsible must be held accountable for their actions,” the SDLP representative added.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Shortly after 1.40am, officers attended a report that a man aged in his 40s had been stabbed inside a property in the St John’s Mews area.

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“It was reported that a male had thrown a petrol bomb in the direction of the property before entering it, and stabbing the male occupant in the face.

“It was also reported that he threw petrol over him and a female occupant, before attempting to set them alight.

“A second female who was inside the property at the time managed to grab a lighter from the suspect, who fled the scene on foot.”

The spokesperson appealed for any witnesses, or anyone with relevant information, to contact police, and added: “The number to call is 101, quoting reference number 85 of 15/05/24.”