Belfast Telegraph

Terrified family is forced to flee after sectarian attack

BY VICTORIA O'HARA

A couple with two young children say they are being forced to move after their west Belfast home was damaged in an attack they believe to be sectarian.

The living room window of the family's house in the Kells Avenue area of the Suffolk estate was cracked at around 3am on Sunday.

The small Protestant area was also targeted by a drunken mob last month in what police branded a "hate crime".

The man, his girlfriend, five-year-old boy and four-month-old baby boy were sleeping upstairs.

He believes the damage was caused by a piece of concrete thrown at the window.

The property, close to an interface area, had previously been targeted with a petrol bomb in June. Police said they are investigating that incident.

The 27-year-old, who did not want to be named, said: "We woke up and heard the bang. When we looked outside we couldn't see anything but saw the damage in the morning. It is lucky it wasn't worse, or anyone was hurt.

"I was trying just to stay on and not give those behind it the satisfaction but I've just had enough," he said. "I will be moving to another house in the estate. There is no way we could stay here with the youngsters.

"My wee lad is only a couple of months' old, the other is five.

"He goes to an integrated primary. I don't want anything like this happening.

"My girlfriend has to go and stay with my mum rather than be in the house by herself because she is scared of something happening."

DUP councillor Brian Kingston called for more police patrols in the area and said: "It is outrageous and vile that people should be subjected to such sectarian attacks in their own home in the middle of the night."

In July, a house and four vehicles were attacked in the loyalist Ringford Park area of the estate.

BACKGROUND

In July, residents of the Suffolk estate spoke of their fears after a crowd of around 100 youths went on the rampage.

Four cars and the living room window of a home in the Ringford Park area were damaged.

People living in the area said it was a "frightening experience". Politicians described the incident as sectarian.

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