14 Jun 2005

Three men to appear in New Caledonia court over assault on elderly

1:08 pm on 14 June 2005

Three men are to appear in court in Noumea today charged with assault after they attacked three elderly people in the town of Paita, just north of Noumea, at the weekend.

The victims, in their 60s and 70s, were assaulted in broad daylight at a bus stop in the centre of town.

Locals rushed to their aid and alerted the police.

Witnesses say the attackers hadn't been provoked.

They apparently turned on the elderly people in a fit of anger.

The attackers, aged between 25 and 35, were said to have been drunk at the time and it's believed they'd also been smoking cannabis.

The victims were badly hurt and one has had to undergo surgery as a result of his injuries.

The mayor of Paita, Harold Martin, has called on customary leaders in New Caledonia to take action against the abuse of alcohol and cannabis.