Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Sectarian campaign forces family out

A family whose house has been attacked up to 20 times in the past four months have said they are moving out.

Marcus Walker (28) and his partner Nicola (24) claim they are being forced from their home in the Westland area of north Belfast because of a “relentless” campaign of sectarian intimidation.

In the latest incident their front door was kicked down and the letters ‘NLR' (New Lodge Road) spray-painted on to the house.

Just last week a gang of masked men tried to pour petrol through the letterbox of the house.

The couple, who have a four-month-old daughter, say they no longer feel safe.

“I would say I have slept three hours in the past week,” Mr Walker told the Belfast Telegraph. “I just pace the hallway all night wondering what is going to happen next. The child cannot stay in the front room in case a brick comes through the window, but the final straw was the petrol through the letterbox. I just do not know what we are going to do.”

Community workers in the area claim the attacks are part of a concerted effort to drive Protestants out of the Westland enclave. They started within days of Mr Walker and his family moving in.

He added: “It's not just our house, they are trying to intimidate all the residents. ”

North Belfast community worker Winston Irvine said: “Those involved should hang their heads in shame at this sectarian attack on a vulnerable young family.”

In a statement the PSNI said investigations into a number of sectarian attacks were ongoing.

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