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Family is being forced from home by race hate attacks

A north Belfast father-of-two has said he is being forced to look for alternative accommodation for his family after constant racist attacks on their home.

Matthew Kunjumon bought the house in Victoria Park in 2003 as a home for himself, his wife Lalamma and sons John (21), a maths student at Queen’s, and Job (22), who is studying a Masters in accountancy at the University of Ulster.

But today Mr Kunjumon is to visit housing agencies as he said they could no longer tolerate almost weekly attacks on the house.

Mr Kunjumon said the latest attack took place on Friday, when stones were thrown at the house while the family was praying inside.

“My sons are both students and are not getting any peace of mind and are having to study in the university,” he said. “I cannot sleep at night and I was sent home from work today and told to get some rest.”

He said the family had twice been refused a certificate from the Chief Constable which would enable them to have the house bought under the Housing Executive’s Sped (special purchase of evicted dwellings) scheme.

Mr Kunjumon, a maintenance worker at the Mater Hospital where his wife is also a nurse, said the family could not afford to pay rent on a home if they move out and their mortgage on the Victoria Park house.

A spokeswoman for police said it could not comment on individual applications for Sped.

But Chief Inspector Ian Campbell, area commander for York Road, said: “We have been working tirelessly with the family to resolve this situation which I appreciate is extremely distressing for them.”

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