Irish Republican News · September 13, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Loyalists bomb pensioner over testimony
Loyalists bomb pensioner over testimony

Loyalist paramilitaries bombed a pensioner's home in County Antrim in an attempt to frighten a key witness out of testifying at a court trial.

The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) are believed to have thrown the bomb at the house in Larne overnight.

A retired businessman, who runs a Christian mission in the town, his wife and son were all asleep and escaped injury when bedroom windows on the property shattered in the explosion.

The attack is understood to be linked to a serious assault on a man in the nearby Newtownabbey area.

With at least one man charged in connection with the beating,

A series of threats were issued against the family when it emerged that prosecutors plan to call a relative to the witness box over a serious assualt in nearby Newtonabbey recently.

A PSNI police spokesman confirmed the UVF was being blamed, adding that the PSNI believe the attack was an attempt to intimidate witnesses in a court case.

Neighbours were stunned that the family, who are well known in the area, had been attacked.

Local SDLP man Danny O'Connor heard the explosion at around 12.40 a.m. from his house nearby.

He said: ``It's a particularly sinister thing to throw a pipe bomb at an upstairs window when you expect people to be sleeping. The intention is to kill people.

``This is a genuine Christian man and the people in this town are outraged. This shows this organisation for the lowlife they are.

``These people are not patriots, they are scumbags.''

Mr David Ervine, leader of the UVF-linked Progressive Unionist Party, was embarrassed by the incident.

He said: ``I'm angry about this no matter who was involved. ``No ifs or buts about it, this was shameful and wrong.''

© 2003 Irish Republican News