Man recovering in hospital following 'vicious' assault in Belfast's Botanic Gardens

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By Q Radio News

A man in his 20s is recovering in hospital after being attacked in Belfast's Botanic Gardens. 

The fight - involving a large group of men - broke out at around 9.45pm last night.   

When police arrived they found one casualty lying on the ground with injuries to his leg, face and head. 

A 31-year-old man was later arrested on suspicion of GBH with intent and possessing an offensive weapon. 

A PSNI spokesperson said: "At approximately 9:45pm, it was reported a large group of males were fighting in the Park. 

"Officers responded and, when they arrived at the scene, they located an injured male on the ground who was reported to have been assaulted. 

"The man, aged in his twenties, was taken to hospital by NIAS for treatment of injuries to his leg, face and head. He remains in hospital this afternoon.  

"A 31-year-old man was subsequently arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence and he remains in custody at this time."

Chief Inspector Kelly Moore added: "We know there were large numbers of people in the area last night, around the time this vicious assault was reported to us, and I want to appeal to anyone who was there and who witnessed what occurred, or who may have footage of it, to get in touch with our detectives at Musgrave CID by calling 101 and quoting reference number 2429 of 29/05/20. 

"I understand that with the sunny weather, people want to be outdoors and make the most of the sunshine. 

"However, the public should be well aware of the advice from our public health partners and the Government about social distancing and movement and, on that basis, we would encourage people not to congregate in popular spots as others may have the same idea and social distancing may not be achievable.

“This weekend we have increased our patrols, particularly around beauty spots, resorts and transport hubs, focusing on the issues of crowds gathering in breach of Regulation 6 of the Health Protection Regulations, alcohol consumption in designated public places and road safety.

“We will continue to engage, explain and encourage people to make the right choices and we will enforce when necessary. Each and every one of us has a personal responsibility to follow the NI Executive regulations and do everything we can to stop the spread of Covid-19.”

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