Belfast Telegraph

'We won't leave Newtownabbey home' - defiant family relive horror of racially motivated paint bomb attack

Sergiu Preda, a resident of Fernagh Avenue in Newtownabbey, where a house was attacked with paint bombs
Sergiu Preda, a resident of Fernagh Avenue in Newtownabbey, where a house was attacked with paint bombs
Ralph Hewitt

By Ralph Hewitt

The victims of a racially motivated paint bomb attack in Co Antrim say they have no plans to leave their home.

Speaking outside his Fernagh Avenue house in Newtownabbey, Sergiu Preda - who is originally from Romania and lives with his wife and four-year-old daughter - described the horrifying ordeal his family was subjected to in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The red paint used in the 20-second attack was splattered over the front door, the walls at the front of the property and the garden path as it began to trickle down the street with the wet weather conditions yesterday afternoon.

A front window was also smashed during the attack, while the perpetrators failed in their attempt to kick the front door through in an effort to enter the house.

Police reported that two men and two women - all aged in their 20s - were inside the property at the time of the attack, while Mr Preda was watching television in the living room when the window was smashed.

"I was watching TV with my daughter beside me and when it happened there was just a loud 'bong' sound," explained Mr Preda (23).

"I thought the window had cracked or something like that but when I saw all of [the paint], it looked like there was blood."

Sign In

Mr Preda moved to Northern Ireland just nine months ago after having lived in Scotland for 10 years and said that nothing like this has ever happened to him before.

"I don't know why this would have happened because I am not a dangerous man," he said.

"I can't think why this happened.

Fernagh Avenue in Newtownabbey, where a house was attacked with paint bombs
Fernagh Avenue in Newtownabbey, where a house was attacked with paint bombs
Sergiu Preda, a resident of Fernagh Avenue in Newtownabbey, where a house was attacked with paint bombs

"My neighbours have come and asked me are we all OK and others came and asked what happened."

While no one was injured in the attack, Mr Preda's daughter panics and "gets scared" when someone approaches the front door of their home.

"It was very scary because when you heard the loud bang it even scared me and I'm a man and normally it would just scare the children," Mr Preda added.

"I didn't see the people but they tried to kick the door to get inside.

"My family are OK. They're a little bit scared but over time they will forget about it.

"I won't be leaving the house. It would be different if I was single, I would leave, but sometimes if you move it could happen again somewhere else and again after that.

"I don't want to be living my life like this."

Police in Newtownabbey are appealing for information following the attack, which occurred at 12.25am yesterday morning.

A PSNI inspector said: "Enquiries are continuing and at this stage the incident is being treated as a racially motivated hate crime.

"We would appeal to anyone with any information to contact police in Newtownabbey on 101, quoting reference number 32 24/11/19."

Information can also be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph