Laurence Shaw death: With a sense of disbelief in the air, community is left stunned at brutal killing
The brutal death of Laurence Shaw in the coastal town of Larne provided a powerful visual contrast.
Just feet away from the small terraced bungalow wreathed in police tape stood a children’s play park, full of slides, swings and other reminders of innocence.
Thankfully, there were no children present as a crowd of forensic officers, dressed in their white suits, prepared for the task ahead.
However, in the next street, a young girl of about five years old, teddy tucked under her arm, played tag with an older friend.
Across a neighbouring field, in the shadow of the town’s giant Caterpillar factory, stands Seacourt youth club.
As the dusk fell, scores of youngsters in fluorescent tabards played football, oblivious to the grief being felt elsewhere on the estate.
One mum hurrying through the development spoke of her shock that the incident had happened so close to home
“I don’t know how we will sleep in our beds,” she said.
The sense of shock was palpable. Families gathered on their doorsteps, arms crossed, staring in disbelief as police officers took up their positions outside the row of squat, nondescript houses.
Formerly home to Laurence Shaw’s mother, the property is the type of small house favoured by retirees.
It is the last place where one would expect to come across such a horrendous scene.
As the evening wore on, families returned home from work and school and hurried inside.
One teenager, with a fish supper in hand, stopped momentarily to gaze at the scene. She was called inside by her father, but not before learning what had occurred.
The trauma of the violence visited on this estate will linger long after the police tape has been taken down.