Paramilitary attack in Antrim `is second time young family have been targeted'

Police are appealing for information after a masked gang smashed the door of a house and damaged a car during an attack in Antrim.It happened in the Ardnaglass Gardens area in the early hours of Friday morning.Picture by Hugh Russell.

A FAMILY targeted in a suspected paramilitary attack in Co Antrim had only just moved to a new house after being driven from their Larne home.

Sinn Féin's Oliver McMullan said the parents and their young children are "just shattered" by the latest attack, having only just found a new place to live.

A group of masked men tried to force entry into the house at Ardnaglass Gardens in Antrim by smashing the front door in the early hours of yesterday.

A Volkswagen Golf parked outside also had its windows smashed.

The men are believed to have escaped in a Volkswagen Passat, which was later found burnt out in Carneary Lane a short time later.

Detective Sergeant Colin Gray said police "would like to hear from anyone with information about this crime. Detectives can be contacted by calling 101, quoting reference number 32 18/08/17."

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

Mr McMullan, a former East Antrim assembly member, said the family "had only about a month ago been relocated to Antrim after previously being targeted in Larne".

"This is the second time," he said.

"They have a young family there and this has traumatised them for a second time."

Mr McMullan said he believed the UVF were behind the attack. "They need to stop it. I have spoken to the family this morning and they are just shattered. The police have got to step up and lift (arrest) these people."

Alliance Councillor Neil Kelly also condemned "the thugs behind this attack overnight".

"Everyone has the right to feel safe from harm in their own home. Those who believe they are above the law must not be allowed to drive fear into the local community," he said.

"It is extremely worrying to hear the PSNI are considering paramilitary involvement as one line of enquiry. This is not the sort of activity we want to hear linked with Antrim and I would urge anyone with information to contact the PSNI as soon as possible."

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