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
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
"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."