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MLA condemns north Belfast sectarian attack

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William Humphrey

William Humphrey

William Humphrey

DUP MLA William Humphrey has condemned those behind a sectarian attack in north Belfast at the weekend.

Residents reported seeing a group of around 10 teenagers, believed to have been aged around 16 years old, in the Crumlin Road area at around 10pm on Sunday evening.

The attackers threw around a dozen bits of rubble and half-bricks towards Bray Court, some landing in the back yards of houses and some going over the houses and landing in the central courtyard.

As more residents appeared at their windows the attackers made their way back up the Crumlin Road and turned into Ardoyne.

Police are treating it as sectarian.

Mr Humphrey said: “By sheer good fortune this attack did not result in any injuries or damage to cars or property, but clearly the consequences could have been very serious.

“The attackers cared nothing for whatever injuries or damage resulted from their reckless attack.

“This was a disgraceful crime. Those responsible should be condemned by all right-thinking people.

“Given the location, I am in no doubt that this was a sectarian hate crime by nationalist youths against the Protestant community at Woodvale.

“It was premeditated as they brought ammunition with them and it was unprovoked.

“Residents say there has not been an attack like this on their area for over five years, though they used to be commonplace.

“Party colleagues and I have raised this incident with senior PSNI officers.

“The police have undertaken to increase patrolling at the Crumlin Road interface to help deter any escalation.

“We can speculate on the motive for why this premeditated attack took place when it did.

“I am in no doubt that it was designed to raise inter-community tensions.

“It must be condemned across the political spectrum and I appeal for no further incidents.

“I urge anyone with information on those responsible to pass that on to the PSNI.”

Police are investigating.

Inspector Paul Noble said: “It was reported that a number of youths threw stones and bricks towards Bray Court from the opposite side the Crumlin Road at around 10pm on Sunday evening. There were no reports of any damage caused and the incident is being treated as a sectarian hate crime at this time.

“We have increased patrols in the area as our enquiries into the incident continue and I would ask anyone with any information which could assist us with our enquiries to contact officers at Tennent Street on 101 quoting reference number 423 09/07/20. Alternatively information can be given anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Belfast Telegraph