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Mob forces family to flee home

Mother of 10-day-old baby describes terror as her partner and property attacked

By Donna Deeney

Published 09/08/2016

The mother of a 10-day-old baby has been forced to flee her home after a gang attacked her partner and property
The mother of a 10-day-old baby has been forced to flee her home after a gang attacked her partner and property

The mother of a 10-day-old baby has been forced to flee her home after a gang attacked her partner and property.

The incident was just one of a number of serious anti-social incidents in the Galliagh area of Londonderry recently.

The young family are now homeless because they are too afraid to return to the flat they had just finished decorating in readiness for the birth of their infant boy.

Asking that her identity not be published, the mother said she is angry that while they are without a home, the people who attacked them are still living in the area.

"The police did make arrests after we contacted them," she said.

"But the people they arrested have been released on bail and are back in their own homes while we have nowhere to live because we are too frightened to go back."

Recalling the terrifying attack, she continued: "We heard the noise of the gang of people in the early hours of Saturday morning, which woke us.

"We looked out the window and could see these boys burning fires in the middle of the road and they were pulling bins from people's houses to keep the fire going.

"They took my neighbour's bin so my partner went out to get that back because my neighbour is a young mother like myself."

The gang confronted the woman's partner.

"One of them started swinging a glass bottle and I knew they were going to throw it at him - and they did," she said.

"I was screaming at them to stop and told them we had a newborn baby in the house, but four of the gang ran at my partner and started attacking him.

"My neighbours managed to get them away and got my partner into the flat. We closed the door and put a table up against it to keep them out, but the next thing the living room window came crashing in on us.

"Our bedroom is right next to the living room so it could have been the bedroom window that was smashed, and our baby was there in his Moses basket."

The woman grabbed her baby, ran into the hall where there are no windows, and rang the police.

"We managed to get away eventually but we can't go back because we know who these boys are and they live in the same area," she said.

"The police arrested one of them but he is out on bail and back in his house.

"He is back home but we are out of our home, the home we spent time and money decorating and putting new floors down so it would be a proper home for our baby. Instead, we have had to gather our stuff as fast as we could and leave, and right now we are homeless - it is madness and makes me so angry."

There has been an escalation in anti-social behaviour across Londonderry recently. At the weekend, in the Brandywell area, a group of young children took refuge in a business after a row between youths developed into violence. And in the Bogside, three people were arrested following a fight involving 30 people in Westland Street.

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