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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 15 May 2021

Arson attack on house of man with severe learning difficulties condemned as 'sickening'

The PSNI said it could have been dealing with a murder scene.

File photo
File photo
Image: Shutterstock/Ilya Andriyanov

THE PSNI IS investigating an arson attack at a house in Co Down.

The incident happened at a house on Hillview Terrace, Dromore Street in Banbridge at about 5.30am today. Police described the attack as “sickening”.

In a strongly-worded statement the PSNI said: “A vulnerable young man with severe learning difficulties was woken by the sound of his upstairs bedroom window smashing in as he lay in bed.

“This was immediately followed by a petrol bomb, thrown at the hole in the now broken window.

“Thankfully, the disgusting creature who threw it missed, and it set alight against the outside of the window and the window sill below.”

A passing taxi driver raised the alarm, with police and the fire service attending the scene.

‘Alarmed and angry’ 

The PSNI said it knows of no reason as to why the man in question would be targeted, adding that his neighbours are “understandably alarmed and angry”.

This could well be a prime example of why vigilante action and indeed gangland feuding is so dangerous to the wider innocent public.

“Whoever carried out this horrific attempt on an innocent life should have nowhere to hide. If they had been slightly more accurate with their second throw, literally inches to one side, we could be dealing with a murder scene.”

Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward, noting that a small, dark car was seen making off from the area.

Local DUP MLA Carla Lockhart condemned the attack, saying: “My thoughts are with the young man who awoke to the shock of this petrol bomb attack on his property.

“There is no doubt that those who engaged in this activity wanted to cause serious damage and could have caused severe injury or death.”

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Órla Ryan

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