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Dad's anger as no arrests made after sickening machete attack on family

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Life saved: Little John Joyce was on the sofa when the attackers came into his gran’s house

Life saved: Little John Joyce was on the sofa when the attackers came into his gran’s house

Christy Joyce says his baby son John would have been killed if his aunt hadn’t protected him

Christy Joyce says his baby son John would have been killed if his aunt hadn’t protected him

Christy Joyce says his baby son John would have been killed if his aunt Geraldine Maughan (pictured) hadn’t protected him

Christy Joyce says his baby son John would have been killed if his aunt Geraldine Maughan (pictured) hadn’t protected him

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Life saved: Little John Joyce was on the sofa when the attackers came into his gran’s house

THE father of a baby who survived a horrific machete attack after his aunt placed her body between him and the blade has demanded police arrest and charge the attackers.

John Joyce was 11 months old when three men burst through the front door of his grandmother's house in Lisnakea, Fermanagh and began slashing wildly at those inside.

Baby John was lying on the couch at the time and survived after his 14-year-old aunt placed herself between him and one of the attackers, sustaining six slash wounds to her back and legs in doing so.

Now, almost a year after the video-taped attack that horrified the nation, John's father Christy has called on the authorities to conclude their investigations and bring those responsible to justice.

"On behalf of my son I am calling on the PSNI to do their job and arrest the men who attacked him, his aunt Geraldine and my mother Elizabeth that night," Christy said this week.

"It is now almost a year since they came into our house armed with machetes and attacked three innocent people including a baby and a 14-year-old girl.

"As a family we feel very let down.

"We have made countless phone calls trying to find out why the men responsible haven't been charged with anything.

"After all the hullabulloo in the first couple of weeks, things died down and we've been told nothing since.

"John will be two years old on December 27 and that's only because of his aunt Geraldine.

Arrested

"If she hadn't thrown herself on top of him that night I have no doubt but that he'd be dead.

"We were told to stay off social media and to stay away from the papers by the police … but the time for us to stay quiet is over.

"We know the people who done this and we know the gardai have been working on different things in the south but as far as we are concerned the PSNI haven't done as much.

"We have no contact letting us know what's going on … our phone-calls aren't being returned and honestly I don't think that's good enough.

"What happened that night was attempted murder and it should be treated properly. It should get the same attention as if someone was killed.

"We believed they'd be arrested within a week and when they weren't we thought it would be the following week and then the week after.

"But nothing has happened … no-one is being called to account."

During the horror attack on November 16 last year, baby John's aunt Geraldine was sliced open six times as she used her body to shield her godson.

His grandmother Elizabeth 'Lizzy' Joyce was also treated for leg wounds. Police believe the men who burst into their home were searching for baby John's grandfather David 'Gramsey' Joyce.

Gramsey, who has a fearsome reputation as a bare knuckle boxer, was in a house nearby and raced to his family's aid after hearing the screams but the attackers had fled.

Horrifically, the attack was taped on a mobile phone by one of the thugs present and later sent to Geraldine as she recovered from her injuries in hospital.

Geraldine later told the Sunday World how she believed she believed she was going to die after her lung was cut open during the vile attack.

But she said: "He's my godson and I love him. I couldn't let them hurt him even though they were hitting me."

Geraldine also recalled how, as the blows from the machete rained down on her, she "looked up over my shoulder and I could see one of the men standing over me". "I was screaming for help," she added. "And then he started laughing at me, laughing like the devil, and he just wouldn't stop.

"I thought they were going to kill me and then they were going to kill baby John and then my cousin."

Retaliation

For Christy and the Joyce family, the fact that the men responsible have not faced a judge and jury in the North is a major source of frustration.

In a statement to the Sunday World, Detective Inspector Michael Winters of the PSNI said: "Our enquiries are ongoing into this incident. Suspects have been identified and will be spoken to by officers in due course and the family will be kept informed of all developments in the case."