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Teen mob terrorises schoolgirl at home

Youths surround house of pregnant mum and daughter

By Victoria O'Hara

An Ulster schoolgirl is set to move schools after a gang of 20 teenagers attacked her home while she was inside with her pregnant mother.

The youths besieged the family home at Hillsborough Gardens in east Belfast demanding that 13-year-old Jade Potter get out of the house.

During the terrifying ordeal, the gang surrounded the front of the house, shouted through the letter box and battered on the windows.

Her stepfather, Stephen Priestley, told the Belfast Telegraph that Jade, who attends Lisnasharragh High School, was left "completely traumatised" .

"They knocked at the door at around 7.30pm on Wednesday. There were around 20 of them shouting, 'send her f****** out here now'.

"Jeanette, Jade's mum, said no and closed the door. Jeanette is 17 weeks pregnant and has a double heart murmur and was just completely shocked.

"They were shouting through the letter box, banging on the windows, it was just terrifying for them," he said.

"She heard one of them say 'climb over next door's wall because there is nobody living there and you can get in the back door'. They were petrified they were going to break in."

He added that Jeanette was so frightened by the sinister incident that she was physically sick.

"Jade just went and hid in her bedroom absolutely petrified. And to have a pregnant woman confronted by a gang of hostile youths is just unacceptable."

Mr Priestley said Jade identified a number of the youths as pupils from her school.

He said the gang congregated in the street for around 20 minutes and did not disperse until the police were then contacted about the incident.

Mr Priestley added that Jade will not be returning to the school, which was once attended by George Best and is now earmarked to close in August 2008.

"She has done her exams and will do our best to place her in a new school.

"What's happening now is you can not only be targeted by bullies in the playground but they will roam the streets looking for you, and try to break into your house - that's terrifying."

A police spokeswoman said they were aware of an incident of youths causing annoyance in that area on Wednesday night and "are monitoring the situation".

Principal of Lisnasharragh High School, Lynne Thompson, said the incident took place outside of school hours but added: "The school has taken appropriate action."

It is understood a number of pupils and parents at the school have been spoken to about the incident.

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