Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Young family ‘shaken’ after arson attempt

Detectives in Musgrave Street are appealing for information after it was reported that an item, which was set on fire, was put through the letter box of a house of a couple and child in the Donegall Pass area of Belfast on Monday, November 14.



According to a police spokesperson: “The householder was able to extinguish the flames, however scorch damage was caused to the outside of the front door and to the floor inside the property.

“No one was injured during this incident, however the occupants of the house were left badly |shaken.”

Alderman Christopher Stalford, a DUP representative for the area, said it was lucky that no-one was hurt or killed.

“Whatever the circumstances, attacks like this are completely wrong and should be condemned by everyone in the community,” he said.

“We are very fortunate that this incident didn’t result in the death of three people including a child.

“I would appeal to anyone with information about the incident to come forward and share it with the police.”

Mr Stalford added: “There has been a spate of attacks upon people and property and this obviously must stop before it results in injury or worse.”

Residents have been left as mystified by the attack as they are shocked, with some stating that they couldn’t believe anyone would target the unassuming |family.

A local shopkeeper said he could not think of a motive for the attack, adding: “The fella doesn’t even drink! It’s a mystery to me why somebody would do that to that family.

“Anyone I’ve spoken to about it is stunned by it all.”

He said this was not the first such attack in the past week.

“That’s the second incident recently,” he continued.

“A guy got his window put in the night before (Sunday, November 13) and his car was trashed as well.

“The general consensus of opinion is that it’s not from here.”

He said he new the man at the centre of this latest arson attack and that the family was determined to stay.

“He’s in here every day and he’s a big quiet fella, he dotes on his wee kid,” said the shopkeeper.

“I’ve seen him since the incident and he’s said he’s not moving because of this. He was born and raised here and he’s going nowhere. He said he’s just going to get fire-proof doors and windows fitted.”

Blackstaff Community Development Association chairman William Dickson commented: “Usually in this area, if somebody wants to force someone out of the area they will smash their windows.

“But this incident goes beyond the pale, especially if there was a toddler in the house at the time. This was an unnacceptable act of violence.”

Anyone who has any information is asked to contact Detectives in Musgrave Street on 0845 600 8000. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on |0800 555 111.

Police have stated that they have no record of the Sunday,|November 13, incident.

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