Belfast Telegraph

Couple quit Derry home after attack by racist thugs

By Donna Deeney

A young couple have said they will not return to their Londonderry home after a gang attacked it with golf clubs in a racist attack.

Police said they are treating the attack on the home of Jonathan Taylor and his Filipino wife as a hate crime and have appealed for witnesses.

Mr Taylor and his wife have lived together in Montgomery Close for two years — but the couple were forced to flee after Mrs Taylor (35) was left in fear for her life when men smashed up windows and their front door.

The mob did not get into the Waterside house but Mrs Taylor, who has lived in Derry since 2003, said she was preparing to jump out of the bedroom window if they had.

The Catholic couple have lived peacefully in the area, but reported that they had felt as if they were being watched recently.

Mr Taylor said: “This has been such a terrifying ordeal for both of us, but especially for my wife who is not even from Derry.

“I was brought up to respect everybody’s religion and culture and in the past I even took part in projects that promoted peace within the two communities, so it is shocking when you become the victim of a hate crime.

“It hurts, too, that we live in a cul-de-sac with 30 houses in it and it seems that no-one saw anything, nor did anyone come to my wife’s aid.

“We have had the feeling that our movements were being watched this past while and the timing of the attack would certainly tie in with that.

“My wife finished her work at 4.30pm but I don’t finish until 6.30pm, and they came with their clubs at 5.30pm when she was all by herself.

“I didn’t know where to turn when I got the call from her, she was screaming in fear down the phone and I felt so helpless, all I wanted to do was to get to her as fast as I could.”

Mrs Taylor is still in shock from the attack and is at a loss as to why anyone would target her.

She said: “I have lived here since 2003 and have lived in different parts of the Waterside, but this is the first time I have experienced anything like this.

“I have always worked hard and minded my own business. I don’t understand why anyone would do this and I just asked the police, why, why did they do this?

“I looked downstairs and all I could see was glass flying all over the house, it was terrifying.

“I locked myself in the bedroom and called 999 while the attack was going on, then I phoned my husband.”

The couple are now living with Mr Taylor’s family in the cityside area.

Mrs Taylor has also quit her job in Starbucks because of its proximity to their house.

Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan said: “Mr and Mrs Taylor contacted me after they were forced to flee from their home and I am now trying to get alternative accommodation for them.

“Police are undecided as to whether this attack was because they were a Catholic couple or because Mrs Taylor is from the Philippines but, whatever, there is no justification for an attack like this.

“The cowardly thugs who targeted this couple have no place in a peaceful and just society.”

Police in Derry have asked anyone who witnessed the attack or saw any suspicious activity in the area to contact them on on 0845 600 800 or Crimestoppers on 0800 55 111.

Quotes

“It hurts, too, that we live in a cul-de-sac with 30 houses in it and it seems that no one saw anything nor did anyone come to my wife’s aid. We have had the feeling that our movements were being watched this past while and the timing of the attack would certainly tie in with that.”

Jonathan Taylor

Belfast Telegraph

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