02 February 2006

PSNI recruit's home attacked

Belfast Telegraph

DUP accuses dissidents of petrol bombing

By Clare Weir
02 February 2006

A member of the Policing Board yesterday accused dissident republicans of trying to intimidate nationalists wanting to join the PSNI by petrol bombing a house in a nationalist area of Londonderry.

Four devices were hurled at the split-level bungalow in the new Woodside Heights development in the Gobnascale area.

It happened around 9.30pm on Tuesday when petrol bombs hit the front wall of the home - which was unoccupied at the time - causing minor damage.

Police, who said a number of items were seized for further examination, added that they were investigating a motive but said the attack was "not sectarian".

They would not comment on whether or not the target had been a police recruit or link the attack to dissident republicans.

Policing Board member and Derry DUP MLA William Hay said he hoped the attack would not drive the recruit away from pursuing a career in the PSNI.

"I know for a fact this young man was a student policeman," he said.

"Here is a young man from the nationalist community getting involved in policing, and someone thinks they can just come along and try to force him into another path.

"It is shameful that this is happening when we are trying to move policing into a new era. I just hope this man is not intimidated from his career in policing."

He called for nationalist and republican representatives to condemn the attack.

A Sinn Fein spokesman for the area said: "Whoever lived here or whatever they did for a living, this was wrong.

"People need to think of the consequences of their activities.

"Whatever they think their motive was, people should not be engaging in this sort of activity."

All the windows and front door of the property were boarded up yesterday.

A neighbour said that he was "concerned" about the attack.

"As a father it concerns me to have a petrol bomb right across the road."

Police want to speak to the occupants of a light coloured car seen in the area at the time and three people who were on foot near where the attack happened.

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