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Man slams PSNI after partner hit with traffic cone and car damaged in ‘hate crime'

The couple say they have been living peacefully in east Belfast for two years before the incident took place

The couple's car was damaged during the incident

A traffic cone in the hallway of the couple's home after the incident

Sunday World

A Catholic man has hit out at the PSNI who he says took too long to respond after he claims he and his partner were targeted by loyalists in east Belfast.

The Irish News reports the man, who does not wish to be identified, says his partner was hit over the head with a traffic cone during the incident.

He also claimed the pair were labelled “Fenian b******s” during the incident, which occurred on London Street off the lower Ravenhill Road.

A vehicle was allegedly damaged during the incident, which the PSNI are treating as a hate crime.

Speaking of the incident, the man said he and his partner lived in the area “peacefully for two years”, adding, “I loved it there, it was our home”.

He also said that while he played hurling in a nearby park area, he would carry his hurl in a hockey bag.

The man said he had been in his back garden on Friday when he heard loud noise and a commotion in the street.

He further explained: “I heard someone saying: ‘That's the Fenian's car isn't it, I just kicked the Fenian's wing mirror in’.

A traffic cone in the hallway of the couple's home after the incident

“I am the only, or I assume the only Fenian living there, so I went out to investigate and there was no one about, but there was a big dent in the door with a footprint in it and the wing mirror had been done in.”

He said he contacted police in attendance at the Belsonic festival nearby but was “besieged” in the house with his partner when they returned and waited for help to arrive.

The man says he went outside with his partner to challenge the gang who were causing more damage to the couple’s car, but while his partner made her way back into the house she was struck on the head with a traffic cone.

He says he and his partner had to wait for around an hour for the police to arrive, and when they did, they fled the property and went to stay with family.

The man’s partner said: “It was the worst experience of my life. I am a young woman, I am petite. I have never been hit in any capacity.”

Alliance MLA Naomi Long condemned the attack as “mindless”.

She added: “The victims have been in contact with my office and the case is now being dealt with.

“Everyone has a right to feel safe in their home and as a community we must stand together against hate crime.”

The PSNI said they are investigating the incident as a hate crime. They said enquiries are ongoing and that officers at the time were tied up with the nearby concert.

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