Indian family targeted in racist arson attack

Subi Phillip with her car which was targeted by arsonists
Subi Phillip with her car which was targeted by arsonists

The police are treating an arson attack on the car of an Indian family living in Antrim as a racially motivated hate crime.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue were alerted to the blaze just before 6.30am on Friday morning.

The incident happened in the Meadow Drive area of the town.

Subi Phillip was in the house with her two children, aged ten and eight, when her car was attacked.

Her husband was not in the house as he had returned home to India for his father's funeral.

Chief Inspector John Allen said: “This is being treated as a hate crime and we are actively investigating the incident and providing support to the family.

“We believe that the attack was motivated by racial hatred. Any attack on property is unacceptable, however I totally condemn the racial hate crime element of this attack, which makes it particularly repugnant

“I am encouraged by the support the family have received following the incident. I would further ask that anyone with any information on the matter contacts police on the non-emergency number 101. Or, you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Mrs Phillip, a cardiac nurse, told the BBC that the local community has rallied around her.

She explained how the noise made by the attackers woke her from her sleep.

"I just heard a big bang and got out of my bed and saw a big fire. When I came downstairs and saw it, I started screaming," she said.

"My girls didn't know why I was screaming and they were screaming too. I was really panicking.

"I was scared. I wasn't sure if they were there to attack me and my girls or not."