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UVF wants to kill me to collect £50,000 bounty on my head, claims Larne man

The UVF have been blamed for a gun and arson attack in Larne. Picture by Hugh Russell.
Connla Young

A Co Antrim man has accused the UVF of firing shots into a room where his children were sleeping.

The Larne man was speaking after his three young sons were lucky to escape injury when four shots were fired at his family home in the Brustin Brae Road area of Larne in the early hours of yesterday.

In recent months several properties and vehicles in the Larne area have been torched in attacks.

Victims’ campaigner Raymond McCord, whose son Raymond was murdered by the UVF almost 20 years ago, last night claimed the gun attack was sanctioned by the group's leadership.

Police said they intend to step up their presence in the town.

The victim claims that two gunmen used sawn-off shotguns to blast the family home.

He said two shots were fired at a room where his three sons, aged 10, 7 and 3, were sleeping but were stopped by triple-glazed windows.

Two shots were also fired into a hallway and through a living room window.

The attackers also set a car alight outside the house after smashing through electronic gates, causing damage to a garage.

Police said that a Volkswagen Bora was hijacked outside a property in the Craigy Hill area of Larne at around 2am by two men with suspected shotguns who threatened the occupants.

The father-of-three said he was woken when his house came under attack.

He said he raced outside in his boxer shorts to confront the attackers, who then fled.

“I’m not an angel but I don’t deserve what I’m getting,” he said.

“It’s the UVF sanctioning this and I had been told they are going to kill me.”

Aislinn Hassin says she may move after her house was shot at in an attack blamed on the UVF. Picture by the BBC.

The Larne man said he has been told that a substantial amount of money was offered to the paramilitary group.

He claimed the figure is rumoured to be in the region of £50,000.

The children's mother Aislinn Hassin said yesterday the family are considering moving house.

Sinn Féin representative Oliver McMullan said more police should be drafted into the area.

“The paramilitaries know exactly where the police are at every time. There is a need for (police) to bring in their specialised teams,” he said.

“Someone is going to be killed and the good people in Larne want confidence put back into the area.”

Oliver McMullan

Mr McCord last night called for a strong response from unionist politicians.

The latest attack came after two cars were gutted in a blaze at a house at Magee Park in Larne at around 3am on Sunday.

DUP assembly member Gordon Lyons said he intended meet with police to discuss the attacks, while the UUP's Roy Beggs called for an increased patrolling to bring the situation under control.

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson also described the attack as "extremely worrying".

PSNI commander Superintendent Darrin Jones said there will be an increased police presence in the town.

“We do not want to see more damage caused to property or life,” he said.

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