witness appeal | 

Murder investigation launched after man attacked while waiting for lift dies in hospital

The victim had been helping a friend to load a van in south Belfast before he was approached by three men

Stock Image: Police at the scene of an incident in Belfast (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)© Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Emma MontgomeryBelfast Telegraph

Police have launched a murder investigation following the death of a man who was attacked in south Belfast on January 29.

The victim, who was aged in his 40s, was assaulted in the early hours of the morning while waiting for a lift.

Detectives are awaiting the results of his post mortem and will consider the findings as part of their investigation.

Three men who were arrested in connection with the incident remain on police bail.

Detective Inspector Michelle Griffin said: “Sadly the victim of the assault has now passed away in hospital. I am appealing for witnesses to come forward.

“The assault occurred between 3.00am and 3.30am on Sunday, January 29th when the victim was waiting for a lift in the car park beside licensed premises.

“It has been reported that three men approached the victim and his friend before an altercation occurred which spilled out onto the Malone Road, at the junction of Eglantine Avenue.

“We know that this area would have been relatively busy with vehicles at the time, particularly taxi drivers, and would appeal to anyone who may have been in the vicinity to check their dash cam for relevant footage.”

The assault was only reported to police on February 16, more than a fortnight after it happened. It is not clear why at this stage.

In their initial appeal, the PSNI had said the victim had been helping a friend to load a van parked in the car park outside licensed premises before he was approached by three men.

Botanic SDLP councillor Gary McKeown sent his condolences to the dead man’s family.

"I am very sorry to learn that the man who was assaulted on the Malone Road has died. My thoughts are with those close to him,” he said.

"An incident like this will cause great concern for people living nearby, as this is an area heavily populated with students and long-term residents, and would be very busy at weekends.

"Police investigations are ongoing, so I would urge anyone with any information to please come forward."

Police have asked anyone with information to contact them via 101.

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