Belfast Telegraph

UVF blamed after shots fired at child's bedroom window - woman and young children escape injury

Police up patrols to put end to loyalist feud

By Jonathan Bell

Shots have been fired at the window of a child's bedroom in what's thought to be the latest attack in ongoing loyalist violence in Larne.

A woman and three young children were inside at the time. A car was also set alight and destroyed.

No one is thought to have been injured. The incident is being linked to loyalist paramilitaries.

It happened in the Brustin Brae area of the Co Antrim town in the early hours of Sunday morning. It's thought four shots were fired at a house with the window of a child's bedroom hit.

Former Sinn Fein MLA urged the police to act.

"This madness has gone to a new level," he said on Twitter.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, he said the UVF was to blame and was behind the recent spate of attacks in the area over recent months. There have been attacks on cars and arsons on homes in recent weeks. Mr McMullan said this was the first time guns were used in relation to the latest violence.

"This is a step up in violence and it is worrying that children are directly involved now. The impact on them in years to come could be dire."

He said over recent months he had helped a number of families relocate because of the threat of violence.

"I am putting this squarely at the door of the UVF and challenging political representatives - as community leaders - to use their influence to put an end to this.

"The UVF are putting themselves up as the protectorate of the community when it is them that are the biggest criminal gang.

"Loyalist paramilitaries need to get off the back of the people in Larne

"The police need to step up their game, they have done in other areas I don't understand why not in Larne.  They need to go after the godfathers and ask questions as to what's paying for all their holidays, cars and homes."

DUP MLA Gordon Lyons said whoever was to blame they needed to stop and anyone with information should report it to police.

He added: "I utterly condemn this violence. Over the weekend there has been an arson attack and a home and now reports of shots fired.

"This is completely unacceptable and doing huge reputational damage to the town. I would urge anyone with information to contact police and tell those involved to stop."

Mr Lyons said that in recent months police had stepped up patrol in reaction to the violence.

"That had an affect and I would call on police to again increase patrols in and around the town.

"There is a real risk to life and it is worrying that guns have been involved."

Police said a car was hijacked in the Craigy Hill area on Monday morning by two men armed with shotguns.

Mid & East Antrim district commander Superintendent Darrin Jones said: “The local community will continue to see an increased police presence in the town to provide reassurance and deter those involved in this feud from engaging in further criminal actions. I would strongly urge those on all sides to reconsider their position and to resolve these matters without any added escalation in violence.

"We do not want to see more damage caused to property or life.”

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