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Redford Grove, Antrim: Man arrested after disabled boy’s home targeted by racist and religiously motivated attacks

The bungalow – built especially for Jessa Clark (9) – was one of two properties in the Redford Grove area that were targeted for foreclosure.

Jessica Rice and Kevin Scott

A man was arrested in Antrim on Tuesday following a string of racially and religiously aggravated incidents which police have confirmed have occurred in the area in recent weeks.

A man in his 30s was arrested following a search of a property in the Ballycraigy Drive area.

Police said a number of items were seized from the property for further examination. The man remains in custody, which is helping officers with their investigation.

The arrest comes after properties were targeted in the Redford Grove area of ​​the city on Sunday, June 30. One of the properties was built specifically for nine-year-old Jessy Clark, who has spina bifida, hydrocephalus, scoliosis and autism.

Jessy has been waiting for years for a home where he can use his wheelchair.

Nine-year-old Jessy Clarke and his great-grandmothers Pauline O’Loan (LEFT) and Margaret Hart have vowed to move into Jessy’s new bungalow to take on the thugs who are threatening their family.

The new development – ​​built with Protestant and Catholic families living side by side in mind – made headlines when national flags were hung from lampposts and curbs were painted red, white and blue.

Graffiti reading “local residents only” also appeared on a nearby house.

Detective Superintendent Fox said: “Following police inquiries into racially and religiously aggravated crime across the Ballycraigy area and a search of a property in the Ballycraigy Drive area, officers arrested a 30-year-old man this morning and seized items for further examination.

“A man has been arrested on suspicion of intimidation and criminal damage in connection with incidents in the Redford Grove and Ballycraigy areas of Antrim.

“The arrest comes as dedicated officers investigate a series of recent crimes and incidents which have caused huge concern among the local community.

“We hope this arrest shows how seriously we take reports of racial hate crime and how committed we are to holding perpetrators to account, while supporting victims and their families who are deeply affected by these reckless and vile attacks.”

Catch-up News: Tuesday, July 9, 2024