terrifying | 

Man subjected to hate campaign flees for his life after UDA thugs torch car

Masonry and dozens of smashed eggs were strewn across the man's front yard and the downstairs window had also been smashed
Neighbours on the street are said to be living in fear after the blast

Neighbours on the street are said to be living in fear after the blast

Steven MooreSunday World

The UDA petrol bombed a car belonging to an innocent man who’d already been subjected to a week of terrifying protests.

A car belonging to the man – believed to be in his 50s – was destroyed when thugs set it alight in the back entry behind his house in east Belfast.

Locals in the normally quiet area of Ardenlee Avenue were said to be terrified when the explosion happened just before 11pm last Thursday.

The ferocity of the fire burned right through the backyard door of a neighbouring property which has no connection to the man being targeted.

The Sunday World spoke to people in the area who said they were “living in fear” of further attacks.

“There’s an oil tank just behind the wall where the car was petrol bombed, so it’s by luck that the explosion wasn’t even worse,” said one resident, who didn’t want to be identified.

“There are a lot of pensioners living in the area and they are genuinely scared about what’s going on.”

We can reveal the man has been targeted in a sinister hate campaign despite not being convicted of anything.

Locals said: “On Wednesday night a group of people turned up and started lobbing two big boxes of eggs at his windows and door.

“Most of them are coming from the nearby Cregagh estate but they have also been arriving in taxis from the Shankill too.”

Other men in east Belfast have also been targeted by the same groups.

One of the social media groups that targeted the man has since been taken down.

Protesters did not renew their vigil on Friday night as the man appeared to have fled.

But neighbours remain fearful of further protests and violence should he return.

The burned car in an entry

The burned car in an entry

“The man who lives or lived there has done so most of his life,” said a resident.

On Thursday night, just as it was finally getting dark, the UDA turned up to torch the man’s car and brick his windows.

Police maintained a vigil outside the man’s house most of Thursday night and were still there on Friday morning.

The Sunday World called at the man’s home on Friday but he had left the area.

Masonry and dozens of smashed eggs were strewn across his front yard. The downstairs window had also been smashed.

Locals said protesters said they were planning to return to continue their protest.

“The police have been called out when they protest but they just stand chatting with the protesters,” said a source. “Apparently the same group has already protested at the homes of two other people in east Belfast. Nobody living in Ardenlee Avenue is protesting.

“It’s people who don’t live here and it’s not fair on those of us who do.”

A police spokesperson said: “Police are aware of protest activity in the Ardenlee area of east Belfast in recent days and are monitoring the situation.

“We are investigating the circumstances of a vehicle fire on Thursday evening, which at this stage, is being treated as arson. Eggs were also thrown at the property and a window broken.

“Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference 2087 of 23/6/22.”

steven.moore@sundayworld.com


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