Vulnerable man escapes injury after petrol bomb attack on his home

Police have described as "sickening" a petrol bomb attack on the home of a man with severe learning difficulties.

It happened at Hillview Terrace in Banbridge about 5.30am on Sunday.

A spokesman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said: "A vulnerable young man with severe learning difficulties was woken by the sound of his upstairs bedroom window smashing in as he lay in bed.

"This was immediately followed by a petrol bomb, thrown at the hole in the now broken window.

"Thankfully, the disgusting creature who threw it missed, and it set alight against the outside of the window and the window sill below."

The alarm was raised by a passing taxi driver, the PSNI said.

The PSNI spokesman added: "When such attacks occur, there is often speculation. Let us be clear - we know of no reason why this man would be targeted. Having spoken to neighbours, they also are baffled, and understandably alarmed and angry.

"This could well be a prime example of why vigilante action and indeed gangland feuding is so dangerous to the wider innocent public and imprecise.

"Whoever carried out this horrific attempt on an innocent life should have no where to hide. If they had been slightly more accurate with their second throw, literally inches to one side, we could be dealing with a murder scene."

The attack has been condemned by politicians across the sectarian divide.

Sinn Fein MLA John O'Dowd described it as "disgraceful" and urged anyone with information to contact police.

Democratic Unionist MLA Carla Lockhart said it was "disgusting and despicable".

Police have appealed for information about a small dark car seen leaving the area.

Detectives are also asking for any dash cam footage from around the time of the attack.

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