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Northern Ireland cyclist assaulted in attempted bike-jacking

Incident happened on Newry Canal on Saturday afternoon

A cyclist from Northern Ireland has told of how he was assaulted on a canal towpath by a man who attempted to steal his bike.

Paul Jeffcut said in a post on Facebook that the incident happened at around 4.45pm on Saturday as he was riding towards Scarva along the Newry Canal near Poyntzpass.

He wrote: “I was cycling along the canal path heading to Scarva when a stranger who was walking towards me jumped sideways across the path to block me.

“I slowed down. He grabbed at my handlebars. I pushed him away. He punched me in the ribs exactly where I’d had a major operation 15 months ago.

“I cycled on, shouting at him. He waved his fists at me. I called 999 and reported the incident.”

Mr Jeffcutt described the assailant as “about 6 feet tall, medium build, grey curly hair, clean shaven, aged 50-60, and was wearing a dark blue thigh-length padded coat and grey trousers.”

Replying later to messages from well-wishers, he said: “Thank you all for your concern and for sharing. I am shaken and a little sore but otherwise well.

“I cycle the towpath regularly and this episode won't stop me. I very much hope we can identify the culprit before he does something to someone else.”

Anyone who has information that may help police with their investigation is asked to call 101 and quote reference 981 of 19 January.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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