Northern Ireland

Doorbell brothers: Man who drank Buckfast during Celtic v Rangers match jailed for subjecting woman to terrifying sectarian ordeal

Adrian Douglas guzzled five bottles before incident

Brothers Adrian and Alister Douglas appeared at Craigavon Magistrates Court in connection with an incident on April 30 which led to them being charged with attempted criminal damage and attempted theft.
Brothers Adrian and Alister Douglas

A young mother has described how her young son was left petrified as a Buckfast-fuelled Rangers fan banged on the door of her home while shouting sectarian abuse.

Danielle Skelton was home in Lurgan with her 18-month-old when brothers Adrian and Alister Douglas came to the home after spending an afternoon drinking while watching a Rangers-Celtic game.

Danielle Skelton in her home. BBC
Danielle Skelton in her home. BBC

Adrian Douglas (35), of Carrick Drive in the town, was sentenced to serve half of a 20 month sentence in prison after admitting intimidation and attempted criminal damage of the Castle Drive property.

Douglas, who the court heard drank five bottles of Buckfast that day, was banging and shouting on her front door,. Ms Skelton fled upstairs where she called her parents and the police. The incident was caught on the victim’s doorbell camera.

His 37-year-old brother Alister, of Charles Baron Gardens, was handed down a 12-month sentence suspended for three years for aiding and abetting intimidation. He was given some credit for trying to restrain his brother.

Judge Lynch told the court how Adrian Douglas could be seen staggering towards the door where he repeatedly hammers it with feet and fists and rattles the letter box on while shouting “Fenians are in here…taigs here…f****** fenian b*******”.

Ms Skelton, who was at home alone with her son at the time of the incident in 2023, said he remains badly affected.

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

Ms Skelton, who has since made what she described a stressful move from the property, said she would have preferred both men to have received a custodial sentence.

She added: “I have still been left with high level of stress and anxiety. I am petrified to leave my current home...I have a heart condition exacerbated with stress and anxiety.

“My son has been impacted he hasn’t been able to sleep in his own bedroom and is startled by loud noises.”

Sentencing the brothers, the judge said he was satisfied their offences are aggravated by reason of religious hatred and warned that “sectarianism has bedevilled our community for centuries and it is a tragedy that atavistic hatreds still emerge...through the emotions of a defeat in a Scottish football match, fuelled by alcohol”.

Ms Skelton watching proceedings online on Thursday and heard the judge comment that her fear and distress in the 999 call she made as her front door and window were hammered and banged “was palpable”.