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Terror of single mum after third attack on her Northern Ireland home


The house on Clementine Drive, Belfast after the attack

The house on Clementine Drive, Belfast after the attack

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The house on Clementine Drive, Belfast after the attack

A single mum in south Belfast says she is "running out of excuses" to tell her six-year-old son after their home was attacked for a third time.

Their property on Clementine Drive near Sandy Row was targeted at around 11.30pm on Thursday while they were enjoying their last night in Disneyland Paris.

"He thinks he's coming home to put the Christmas tree up, but how are we going to do that now?" said the mum, who doesn't want to be named, before flying home yesterday evening.

"I've spent all day wondering what to tell him. I'm running out of excuses."

Neighbours reported seeing a group of up to five men smashing two windows of the terraced house before they threw a paint bomb inside the property - another one was thrown at the back of the house.

It is the third time the property has been attacked within the last month - the trouble started after she defied a UDA warning giving her 24 hours to leave the home she has lived in for seven years.

At the beginning of November her frightened son was forced to go and stay with his dad after windows were smashed by two men armed with hammers.

Paint bombs were also thrown into the property, destroying clothing and her son's toys.

On Sunday night she described being woken by a neighbour's frantic screams, only to discover it was to scare off men who were attempting to set fire to the property.

"They poured petrol over the car and up my front door - if it wasn't for my neighbour screaming they would have lit it and we would have been sleeping," she said.

"I told my son the first attack was a firework, then last week I told him someone had spilled paint outside - if I tell him the truth he will be terrified. He'll also start asking why."

It's a question his distraught mum says she is unable to answer.

"I haven't done anything on anyone - I'm just a wee girl who sits in the house," she added.

"But I knew this would happen, I predicted that I would get a welcome home present on Thursday night and sure enough they have delivered it."

The woman also said the "handful of people" determined to make her life a misery recently forced her to give up a new job.

"They got in touch with the owner and said they were going to burn it down if I stayed there," she said. "I wasn't even in the place two hours."

However, the baffled mother has been taking comfort from the overwhelming amount of support she has received from most people in the community.

"I woke up to hundreds of messages on my phone this morning - there's too many to even reply to," she continued.

"Over the last few weeks it has taken me about an hour to get back from the shop.

"So many people have been stopping me to tell me they are disgusted by what is happening to me."

Independent Botanic councillor Declan Boyle called on those behind the attacks to come to their senses and said he thought the "days of intimidation were supposed to be behind us".

"I just hope these people see sense and desist from this type of behaviour which most of us will agree is unacceptable," he added.

"There can be no excuse for it. It would be very depressing for anyone to arrive home to something like this but for a six-year-old child it is awful."

PSNI constable Brian Carroll said enquiries are ongoing and appealed for witnesses to contact police on 101.

Belfast Telegraph