Belfast Telegraph

Three 'hate crime' attacks in south Belfast: Mother and baby could have been killed

By Claire Cromie

A mother and baby could have been killed by a petrol bomb thrown in a "hate crime" attack in south Belfast, say police.

The incident, shortly after 9.30pm on Tuesday night, was one of three hate crime incidents in the Donegall Road area this week.

A person wearing a mask attempted to smash the front window of the house in Ebor Street, where the mother was inside with her baby.

The petrol bomb failed to ignite but smashed the outer pane of glass.

Chief Inspector Robert Murdie said: "The petrol bomb has been seized for forensic examination.

“A mother and baby were in the property in the time. This incident had the potential to kill or seriously injure and has to be condemned.  We live in a democratic society and seeking to harm individuals in this way is not acceptable."

On Sunday evening two windows were smashed and graffiti was daubed on a house in Lower Rockview Street. The property was vacant, but tenants were scheduled to move in.

And shortly after midnight on Monday, residents in Monarch Parade reported that two ground floor windows and one upstairs window had been smashed and graffiti daubed on their front door.

"It is very alarming that there are people who believe it is acceptable to carry out such attacks," said Alliance South Belfast MLA Anna Lo.

"These incidents show the importance of a fully implemented and resourced Racial Equality Strategy. I hope the First and deputy First Ministers will look to radically improve their draft strategy if we are to eradicate racism.

"Those responsible for these crimes are trying to intimidate and create fear in the community, but they do not speak for the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland who are opposed to these types of incidents. I would urge anybody with any information about these attacks to contact the police."

Chief Inspector Murdie is asking anyone with informations to contact detectives at Musgrave on 101, or speak anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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