Northern Ireland news

Video: Belfast house targeted by 'Santa' gunman gutted in arson attack

A man dressed in a Santa suit captured shooting into the house in west Belfast

A HOUSE in west Belfast where a family have been at the centre of ongoing intimidation has been attacked for the third time in several weeks.

A fire was reported at the property in Dermott Hill Parade at 1.57am this morning.

Police are treating the fire as arson and believe it may be linked to criminal damage on New Year's Day.

The attack comes after bizarre footage of a previous attack on the house emerged showing a man dressed as Santa shooting at it.

 Police are treating the attack on the property at Dermott Hill as arson

Speaking earlier this week George Richmond (59) and his wife Geraldine (57) said they have been left with no option but to leave their home of 30 years following a string of attacks at the property.

The couple said they had their possessions in storage until they can find somewhere new to live, after the latest attack on their Dermott Hill home.

George Richmond at his damaged home in Dermott Hill.

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Detective Sergeant McPhillips said: “The ground floor of the house was completely gutted in the blaze although fortunately no-one was in the property at the time of the incident. 

"The house next door was filled with smoke and a number of people who were inside at the time were brought to safety.

“We are treating this fire as arson and believe it may be linked to criminal damage at the same address on 1 January, in which a number of windows were smashed. 

"We are also investigating a possible link to a shooting incident at residential premises in the Upper Springfield road area, which was reported to police on Tuesday. 

Forensic officers at the house in Dermott Hill following a fire at the property

“Everyone has a right to live in a safe and stable community and this type of senseless and reckless criminality will not be tolerated.  Those living in the local area who have any information should bring it to police immediately so that we can bring the perpetrators to justice.

“I would appeal to anyone who has any information about these incidents or saw any suspicious activity in the Dermott Hill Parade area in the early hours of this morning, to get in touch with detectives on 101, quoting reference number 97 of 3/1/19.”

 Footage shows man dressed as Santa firing into the property

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