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Larne children and pregnant mum's hatchet attack terror

By Luke Barnes

Published 22/09/2016

Hatchets were used on the front door of a house in Fleet Street
Hatchets were used on the front door of a house in Fleet Street

Young children and a pregnant woman had a lucky escape when two homes were smashed up by masked men wielding hatchets in an apparently co-ordinated attack.

Both incidents happened in Larne, Co Antrim, at around 1.20am yesterday.

The gang smashed the windows of a house on Fleet Street, and at around the same time another house on Seahill Road was attacked.

The windows and doors were badly damaged with hatchets.

A short time later, at 1.30am, a car was reportedly abandoned and set on fire in a field near Walnut Avenue.

Nobody was injured in the attacks, but the two couples targeted, all four of whom are in their 20s , were left traumatised.

A young boy and pregnant woman were in one of the houses at the time.

One of the couples said a boulder was thrown through their son's upstairs bedroom window, although fortunately their children, both aged under two, were not home at the time.

One of the couples told UTV that they were now planning to leave their home.

Detectives are still trying to establish a motive for the attack, and sectarian reasons are one line of inquiry.

DUP councillor Gregg McKeen said it was "more than likely" that the incidents were linked.

Mr McKeen added that the PSNI needed to increase its visible presence in Larne, and that more members of the community needed to be willing to work with police.

He said: "Everybody has to be concerned, vigilant and help get the police to put more feet on the ground." Anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact Detective Sergeant Crothers in Larne on 101 quoting reference numbers 52 or 53 of 21/09/16.

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