58-year-old man beaten in Derry for his mobile phone

Danny Gallagher recovering in hospital
Danny Gallagher recovering in hospital

This the the face of a 58-year-old man who was kicked about the head by thugs who stole his mobile phone.

Danny Gallagher was approached as he walked through Bloomfield Park just after 6am on Monday morning.

He had gone to visit his son before he went to work.

But Mr Gallagher says he was then approached by either one or two men who demanded he hand over his mobile phone.

He told reporters: "I was walking over to see my son before he went off to work.

"I can remember being approached by this man, I think there might have been two of them but I am not sure, and he asked me for my phone.

"I told him he wasn't getting it and the next thing I know I am getting kicked in the head.

"I can't remember anything after that until I woke up in the hospital."

Mr Gallagher's injuries were so bad that his wife says she didn't recognise him when she arrived at the hospital. 

She said: "I nearly died when I saw him, his head is twice the size. He can't open his eyes, they're like two big balloons.

"His face is all swollen, he has a big tear and they aren't stitching that until the swelling goes down.

"Danny could have been killed and I can only thank the person who saw him and phoned an ambulance because they've saved his life," she said.

Mr Gallagher has had to have stitches inside his mouth and suffered severe eye injuries.

In a statement, the PSNI said: "Detectives are appealing for witnesses following a serious assault in the Bloomfield Park area of Derry early this morning, Monday 24 August. 

"Shortly before 6.30am it was reported that a man aged in his 50’s had been the victim of a serious assault in the area. He was taken to hospital for treatment for a serious head injury.

"Detective Inspector Conor McStravick is appealing for anyone who was in the area of Bloomfield Park early this morning and who witnessed the assault or anyone with any information that could assist with the investigation to contact Detectives in Strand Road on the non-emergency number 101. Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."