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PA
Armagh

Two brothers sentenced over sectarian intimidation of young mother in Lurgan

Adrian Douglas, 35, and Alister Douglas, 38, were caught on a doorbell camera last year trying to force entry to a home

TWO BROTHERS HAVE been sentenced over the intimidation of a young woman who was subjected to sectarian abuse in her home in Co Armagh.

Adrian Douglas, 35, and Alister Douglas, 38, were caught on a doorbell camera last year trying to force entry to a home in Lurgan. They were recorded shouting sectarian slurs at a 22-year-old woman who was at home alone with her young son.

The young mother, Danielle Skelton, told the court in her victim impact statement that she has been left with significant stress and anxiety. The court heard that she had moved into a mostly Protestant area of Lurgan after she was offered social housing.

The court handed Adrian Douglas a sentence of 10 months in prison with a further 10 month on licence (on parole). Alister Douglas was given a 12-month suspended sentence.

The brothers pleaded guilty to intimidation and aiding and abetting intimidation respectively.

Speaking to BBC News after the sentencing, Danielle Skelton said she would have preferred to see both of the men receive prison sentences and that her son, who is now three years old, is still badly affected by the incident.

“He won’t sleep in his own room. Any slight bang or the door goes, he’s bouncing from one side to the other. He’s petrified still,” she said.

In a statement to media today, PSNI Chief Inspector Brendan Green said he hopes the sentencing of the men ”sends a clear message to anyone who believes sectarianism or intimidation in any capacity is okay”.

“From the outset, this attack was viewed as a sectarian hate crime and was treated with the utmost seriousness. We believe everyone has the right to feel safe in their home and we will continue to make every effort to ensure that this happens, prevent future incidents, and to hold offenders accountable before the courts,” Green said.

“I commend the victim for her bravery and tenacity in seeing her case through the criminal justice system and I hope today’s outcome offers her some degree of closure on what has undoubtedly been a difficult and challenging time.”

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