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Lucky escape for family after joyriders plough stolen 4x4 into living room in early hours

By Angela Rainey

A young family escaped injury after joyriders crashed a car into their west Belfast home in the early hours of yesterday.

A Range Rover Vogue, stolen during a burglary, ploughed through the living room of the terraced property on Cavendish Street at 4.55am.

Roisin Murray (38) and her daughter Molly (16) were in bed at the time, while other daughter Claiodhna (19) was out.

Ms Murray, a pharmacy dispensing assistant who has lived in the house for 30 years, said she thought she was being burgled when she heard the smash.

She explained: "I was in bed and I heard the wind blowing, then I heard a thud.

"I came downstairs, I heard someone and I could see lights. I was frightened and I started screaming to Molly to get her phone because I thought it was a burglary.

"When I opened the door the headlights of the Range Rover were beaming in, and the glass and bricks were everywhere."

Ms Murray had spent thousands refurbishing her home just before Christmas.

"I'm still in shock, to be honest, it's not something you expect. I was standing in the living room and I could hear the neighbours shouting for us to get out," she said.

"The car was leaking petrol and it had also hit my gas box at the front of the house, and they were worried that there would be an explosion. We are still shaken up that it's happened."

Residents in the street witnessed four men running from the vehicle.

Neighbour Ciara Murphy (26) was also in bed - nursing a broken toe - when the drama unfolded. Her children, aged one and 10, were asleep at the time.

Her Seat Leon, which she bought last year, is a write-off as a result of the joyriders' actions.

She said: "This is a quiet street with nice neighbours.

"It's just ordinary, decent people who live here and I feel sorry for Roisin."

Sinn Fein MLA Fra McCann hit out at those responsible.

He said: "They care nothing for people and need to be removed from our community."

The PSNI appealed for witnesses. Inspector Laura Kelly said: "The Land Rover, along with a silver Toyota C-HR, were reported stolen in a creeper-style burglary from a house in Carney Hill in Holywood.

"Car keys were taken from the property along with number of other items, including a JVC 50in television, tablet and a PS4 games console.

"Anyone with information should ring 101 quoting reference 182 of 3/1/17."

Alternatively, people can ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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