'He was vulnerable and alone' - Family's appeal after dad left for dead after wedding party
The family of a father-of-two, who was left for dead after an attack following a wedding party, have made an emotional appeal for anyone with information to come forward.
Andrew Barr (32) was discovered lying in a grass area by a night porter who was working at the reception at the Leighinmohr Hotel in the Galgorm Road area of Ballymena following a friend's wedding.
Mr Barr lay badly injured for some four hours before being found and rushed to hospital with serious head injuries at 6am on Friday.
He suffered severe brain trauma, punctured lungs and injuries to his face.
His family said the popular fitness instructor, who runs Flamingo Fitness in the town, was "left for dead".
Mr Barr's mum Amanda told the BBC they were initially told there was a "strong possibility" that he would not survive his injuries.
He is now in a stable condition in hospital and his family said he is making "small steps every day".
Mrs Barr said: "He was vulnerable, he was alone and he'd had a couple of drinks as you do if you're at a wedding, so they took advantage of that.
"I think that says an awful lot about them.
"And then they left him and either went home or wherever. People like that, we don't need in our society. They serve no purpose."
His sister Victoria made an emotional appeal addressing those responsible.
She said: "I would ask if they are a sibling or if they are a parent how they would feel if such violence was inflicted on a family member of theirs? What justice they would want done if they were in our position?
"These men, if you wish to call them such, shouldn't be allowed to continue their daily chores with my brother in the condition they left him."
The PSNI is trying to trace Andrew's movements before the attack.
Detective Sergeant Peter Crothers said: "At approximately 6am it was reported to police a man, aged in his 30s, was found in a grass area close to a licensed commercial premises, and had serious head injuries.
"The man was subsequently taken to hospital, where he remains seriously ill following surgery. Police would like to hear from anyone who was socialising in the man's company earlier that evening at a function he attended in the Leighinmohr Avenue area.
"In particular, police would like to hear from anyone who was with the man between the hours of 1am and 2.30am.
"Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives in Ballymena on the non-emergency number, 101."