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Mother's anguish over spate of hate attacks on home

By Cate McCurry

Published 13/01/2016

Biddy Ward outside her paint-spattered home in Newry
Biddy Ward outside her paint-spattered home in Newry

A mother-of-seven fears for her children's lives after four paint bombs were thrown at her home in Co Down.

Three of Biddy Ward's daughters were asleep in an upstairs bedroom when a jar of grey paint struck the window in the early hours of yesterday.

The settled Traveller has been subjected to a spate of attacks on her home in the past six months.

A police spokesman said they were treating the latest incident as a hate crime.

The 30-year-old, who has a child with special needs, branded those behind the attacks as "cowards" and appealed for them to stop.

Her children, aged from one to 10, have been left terrified by the incidents at the property in Chequer Court, Newry.

Mrs Ward said she and her husband Michael were being "victimised and intimidated".

"They are trying to intimidate me out of my home, but I am not going," she said. "I've lived here for seven years.

"I'm afraid every night that something will come through the window. I want them to stop.

"We know who is doing this and we see them in broad daylight, but they won't say anything to me.

"They wait for my children to go to bed to scare them. I've a child with special needs. These are cowardly bullies and pure scum.

"My three daughters, aged four, six and 10, woke up to paint bombs being thrown at their window.

"They came screaming to me, saying that they could hear things getting smashed off the house.

"We got up and opened the blinds and noticed the house had been paint-bombed again.

"This has been going on since the summer. They have attacked our house with paint bombs, and it's happening every couple of weeks. It has destroyed our property."

Mrs Ward also told how she was worried one of the bombs could smash a bedroom window and injure her children, who have already been traumatised by the attacks.

"If one of those jars came flying in through the window and hit a child on the head we wouldn't be dealing with criminal damage here, we would be dealing with a death", she added.

"If they have a problem with me or my husband, then come and speak to me, don't take it out on several vulnerable children. These people are senseless. The children have nothing to do with this. Don't bring them in to the argument.

"We are not being bullied out of our home. I will go with good intentions whenever I decide to go. We want to know why they're doing this and to stop."

A spokesman for the PSNI appealed for information.

"Police in Newry are appealing for information after jars of paint were thrown at a house in Chequer Court," he said.

"Around 3.50am on Tuesday, January 12, three or four jars of paint were thrown at the house.

"Police are treating this as a hate crime and enquiries are ongoing. Police would like to hear from anyone who has information which may assist their investigation. They can be contacted on 101."

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