Belfast Telegraph

Hair salon 'devastated' in arson attack after car reverses through shutters

A hairdressers' salon has been badly damaged in an arson attack in Co Antrim.

A car was reversed through the shutters of the business in Larne's Main Street and set alight on Monday night.

Police believe a falling-out between two people may have caused a spate of arson attacks on vehicles and property in the town in recent days, but paramilitaries are not thought to be involved.

Detective Chief Inspector Dunny McCubbin said: "This was a mindless and reckless attack by individuals who have shown no concern for the people of Larne and no respect for the business people trying to make a living in the town.

"This business has been devastated by this attack and there can be no excuse or justification for what happened here last night."

Police believe one man travelled to the scene in the vehicle, a grey Nissan Primera, and then fled on a blue and white motorcycle driven by a second individual.

Three fire appliances attended.

Eight other arson attacks over the weekend are being investigated by detectives and officers are considering if the latest incident is linked.

Two cars were targeted in the town early on Monday and there were similar incidents early on Saturday and Sunday.

Two men aged in their thirties have been arrested as part of the overall investigation.

A 30-year-old man was apprehended on Saturday and subsequently charged with grievous bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon. He is expected to appear in court in Ballymena on 11 May.

A second man, 32, was detained on Monday. He has since been charged with common assault and making threats to damage property. He is due to appear at Ballymena Magistrates Court on 4 May.

DUP Assembly member Gordon Lyons said the incidents brought Larne into disrepute and damaged the reputation of the "hard-working" community.

"The majority of people in this community are against this behaviour and it will not be tolerated. The people responsible have no regard for Larne, lives or property.

"In particular last night a local business has been damaged. This is reckless behaviour against those who want to go about their daily lives.

"I totally condemn their actions and I am calling for an end to this spate of activity."

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