Belfast Telegraph

Belfast charity workers' van set on fire

A charity workers van has been set alight outside his home in east Belfast in which police believe to be a racist attack.

Ian Campbell who is the founder of the Ten Foundations charity spoke on this morning's BBC Stephen Nolan's show of how he woke up on Sunday morning to find the charities van in flames.

He said: "It was around 3.30am and we had a friend staying with us, a great supporter of the charity. She woke up and went downstairs and there was already people on the street who had thankfully phoned the fire brigade.

"I went outside and it was just an inferno, the flames were up to the roof. My van was in flames, a total write off."

He added: "The thing that really got to me, I was parked two doors down, it is a row of terraced houses outside a neighbours house. Another five minutes and that house would have been up in flames.

"An elderly couple live there and the wife apparently isn't well so it was not a good situation at all."

Police are treating the incident as a hate crime.

Mr Campbell believes it was a racist attack towards his charity - Ten Foundations which supports vulnerable families and children in the Philippines.

The charity van had been vandalised six months previous where he had all four tyres had been slashed.

"At that time we thought it was a random act or vandalsim but now looking back, was it something a bit more sinister?"

When asked if he thought he was being targeted for helping children in the Philippines, he said: "The way things are now with so many racist attacks and the way people think, it is a possibility.

"You don't like to think like that but there are people out there that don't like the thought there are other people from other countries living here and working here.

"It's just awful to think if that is the case."

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