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on skeet row Homes of sons of ‘mafia don’ drug lord hit with petrol bombs

One of the attacks took place on the home of convicted cocaine dealer Jonathan Neill

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UNDER FIRE: Peter Neill Jnr (left) and Jonathan Neill’s homes were petrol bombed

UNDER FIRE: Peter Neill Jnr (left) and Jonathan Neill’s homes were petrol bombed

UNDER FIRE: Peter Neill Jnr (left) and Jonathan Neill’s homes were petrol bombed

Two houses hit with petrol bombs in Coleraine recently belong to sons of ‘mafia don’ drug lord Peter ‘Skeets’ Neill, we can reveal.

One of the attacks took place at the home of convicted cocaine dealer Jonathan Neill.

Last May Neill was jailed for six months for being part of a drugs gang busted by undercover cops.

Johnny Neill – who has been in and out of prison and who featured in this paper for fighting – lives at one of the bomb-damaged properties in Westbourne Crescent in Coleraine.

The 27-year-old lives there with his mum Mena Kennedy. She’s the ex-wife of Skeets Neill and she was pictured alongside the notorious drug dealer while he was on a now infamous holiday to Egypt ten years ago. Mrs Kennedy has no involvement in crime.

Skeets got special permission from court to go on the luxury holiday as he was facing possession charges at the time and had to get his bail conditions relaxed.

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Peter 'Skeets' Neill

Peter 'Skeets' Neill

Peter 'Skeets' Neill

The second property targeted with a petrol bomb belongs to Johnny’s big brother Peter Neill Jnr, who lives in Somerset Drive.

He was once named in court, along with his dad, as a “principle member of an organised crime gang” after cops charged them in connection with a £600,000 cocaine haul – though the charges were later withdrawn.

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Smoke damage after the petrol bomb attack

Smoke damage after the petrol bomb attack

Smoke damage after the petrol bomb attack

The petrol bombs caused minor damage to both properties – our picture shows the scorch damage caused beside the window of the front room of Johnny Neill’s home.

It’s not clear if the attackers were targeting coke dealer Johnny or if it was a wider attack aimed at his father Skeets.

“Johnny and Peter live in houses that are just five minutes’ walk away,” said a source last night.

“But Skeets lives close by and his place wasn’t touched, but that could be because he lives in an upstairs flat and everyone knows he has security cameras all over it.”

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Skeets was jailed for 20 months in 2013 for his part in smuggling £50,000 worth of drugs from China, and was described in court as a “mafia don” with more than 180 criminal convictions.

Two men – also both brothers – have already appeared in court charged in connection with last week’s petrol bomb attacks and a series of other incidents in the north west on the same night.

It emerged during a bail hearing that both the accused, Sean and Gary Anderson, were out on bail when they allegedly threw the petrol bombs, having been charged with the murder of 35-year-old Derry man Karol Kelly in 2018.

Sean Anderson (23) and Gary Anderson (25), whose address cannot be published due to legal reasons, appeared via video link at Antrim Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with criminal damage and throwing petrol bombs.

It was reported that police, having already attended a report of windows being smashed in the Loguestown Park, received a report at 7.17pm that a petrol bomb had been thrown at the front of a house in Westbourne Crescent.

Smoke damage was noted and a smashed WKD bottle was found at the scene.

The event was linked to an incident earlier in the day when the injured party observed a male, who she described as ‘fat in build’, smashing a glass bottle in the driveway of her property.

Police heard from multiple members of the public of a maroon-coloured Volkswagen in the area at the time. Further reports were then received of an incident at Somerset Drive, Coleraine, at around 9.15pm, with a male reporting a petrol bomb had been thrown at his property.

A beer bottle was recovered from the scene for forensic examination.

Police then received a final report of damage being caused to a vehicle in the area of York Avenue, Portstewart, at around 9.28pm.

A member of the public reported that four males were causing damage to a red Volkswagen Jetta, with the windows being smashed.

The police officer told the court the vehicle was owned by Gary Anderson, and following an inspection, a packet of white cloths with red-stitched trim were found in the car.

Two cloths were missing from the packet, and one visually identical was recovered from the bottle found at the property on Somerset Drive.

Sean and Gary Anderson were located at their court bail address and were arrested and interviewed, mostly replying “no comment”.

The police officer told the judge that there was a likelihood of further offences, and said there was a concern that yet unlocated phones belonging to the defendants could be destroyed if bail was granted.

He also said there would be a public order risk, saying retribution may be sought, and recommended the defendants be remanded for their own safety.

Defence for the brothers pointed out that a number of the injured parties were known to the police and that the defendants had been on bail for 18 months without issue.

The judge refused to grant the defendants bail and set a date of May 23 for the men to appear at Coleraine Magistrates Court.

steven.moore@sundayworld.com

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