Elderly Lisburn man dies after 'unprovoked attack'

A 70-year-old man who had been in a 'very critical' condition after he was assaulted in the Manor Park area earlier this month has died.

Jim Heasley was assaulted as he walked home along Manor Park on Sunday, October 17 at approximately 1am. He had been in the Pigeon Club earlier that evening and left around 12.30am alone.

CCTV footage showed him walking across Longstone Street around ten to one in the morning.

Sign up to our daily NorthernIrelandWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Neighbours who found Mr Heasley called for an ambulance and the police were later contacted. He was first taken to the Lagan Valley Hospital where his injuries were so bad that it was first thought that he had been involved in a traffic accident.

Police say they have launched a murder inquiry following Mr Heasley's death in hospital on Friday.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway, said it had been "an unprovoked attack on a defenceless 70 year-old-man who was on his way home after a night out with his friends".

"Jim was known locally as 'Sunshine', and from our enquiries over the last few days we have learned that Jim was a well known and respected member of the community and will be sadly missed by his family and his friends," he said.

"Jim left the pigeon club in Longstone Street, and we know he was attacked in Manor Park. We want to speak to anyone who saw any movement in those areas between 1245 am and 1am.

"We particularly want to speak to a blonde woman and a man seen walking into Manor Park sometime shortly after 1am. You may be able to help us with this enquiry and we would like to speak to you as witnesses."

A 47-year-old man appeared in court earlier this month charged with grievous bodily harm in connection with the incident.

If you can help you are asked to contact Detectives at North Queen Street Police Station Telephone number 02890 650222 extension 16318 or the Direct number 02890 561 804. You can also ring the Crime stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.