UVF blamed for hoax attack
UVF blamed for hoax attack

A distraught grandmother, whose west Belfast home was attacked by masked men on Thursday night, has blamed the unionist paramilitary UVF for the attack.

Davina West and her husband, Mark, had to be evacuated after a device was hurled into the garden of their Highfield estate home on Thursday night.

Other families in the area also had to leave and were only allowed to return in the early hours of Friday morning after the device was declared a hoax.

Earlier a brick was fired through the window of the couple’s living room.

Their son, Dean, has fled the North in the last few weeks after being told by the PSNI he was under threat.

“I’m completely wrecked. I can’t sleep at night or anything. What would you say to those terrorising your family? Just leave us alone. We haven’t done anything”, Davina West said.

Her husband, Mark West, said he had been told “mainstream paramilitaries” had nothing to do with it.

“I am assuming its elements within that. Within the UVF? That’s what I’m hearing”, he said.

“My son is away. It’s heartbreaking for myself and Davina because he has nowhere to live at the minute. He’s moving about from place to place”, he added.

Last June the UVF claimed its weapons and explosives were “totally and irreversibly beyond use”.

Last week also saw a hoax attack at Harryville Catholic Church in Ballymena. A device found at the rear of the church on the Larne Road was found to be inert.

There have also been ongoing reports of sectarian incidents in Derry. Bricks were thrown at the car of a taxi driver from Bishops Gate on Saturday night of last week. The driver was targeted again when he stopped his car. He escaped serious injury, but was left badly shaken by the ordeal.

“It was done with a lot of force. They were intent on doing damage,” he said.

Two other vehicles, including another taxi, were attacked at the same time, close to the mainly loyalist Fountain Estate.

“On this side of the city, most taxi drivers are from the nationalist community,” he said. “It’s just pot luck. They know if they hit a taxi driver, nine times out of ten it has to be a Catholic driver.”

Residents of the Fountain Estate, which is situated in an overwhelmingly nationalist area, have also complained that they have been subjected to sectarian attacks in recent weeks.

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