Attack on house in Magherafelt was 'racist hate crime'

Leckagh housing estate where the incident happened
Leckagh housing estate where the incident happened

The PSNI are treating an attack at a house in Magherafelt as a racist hate crime.

It is understood the living room window was smashed and graffiti sprayed on a wall of the property at Leckagh Drive on Sunday.

Sinn Féin councillor Darren Totten today strongly condemned the incident.

He said: "The house, which to my understanding was to be allocated to a Northern European family who live and work in the area, had a window broken and ‘locals only’ spray painted on the front wall.

“There is no place for this kind of xenophobia in our community. This kind of cowardly attack is not representative of the people of Leckagh, Magherafelt or Mid-Ulster.

"This family - like so many other families that have chosen to make our community their community while making an invaluable contribution to the local economy and helping to enrich and bring diversity to our community.

“The task for real leaders within our local communities is to challenge some of the misperceptions and myths that surround immigration and to make it crystal clear that there is no justification for this kind of attack, which is not only illogical but disgraceful. There can be no place for racism or bigotry of any kind in our community.”

Chief Inspector Roy Robinson said: “We believe that damage was caused to the property sometime between 8pm on Saturday night and 9.15am on Sunday morning.

“The window of the living room was smashed and graffiti sprayed on the wall. The incident is being treated as a racist hate crime.

“We would appeal to anyone who witnessed this incident or who has any information that could help our investigation to get in contact with police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 539 of 6/8/17.

“Alternatively, information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”