Attack on Coulter home condemned

Published Monday, 02 December 2013
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An arson attack on the west Belfast home of Tracey Coulter on Sunday night has been described as "outrageous" by a DUP councillor.

A blaze broke out at the property, just off the Shankill Road, at around 7.30pm.

Fire crews had to use an aerial appliance to prevent the blaze spreading to adjoining houses on Shankill Terrace.

Ms Coulter had been involved in a high-profile campaign to expose what she claims as UDA involvement in drug dealing.

Greater Shankill DUP Councillor Brian Kingston has condemned the arson attack, saying that it could have had devastating consequences.

"This is the family home of Tracey and her children. They were out at the time of the blaze but those responsible could not have been certain of that."

Those responsible for this despicable act cared nothing for the consequences of their crime. These are the evil actions of sinister people who are on the wrong side of law and order and who are a destabilising influence in the community. This will be widely viewed as an act of thuggish intimidation.

Brian Kingston, DUP Councillor

He added: "It appears that the attackers made a hole in the roof through which they poured a form of accelerant which was set on fire.

"Through the swift action of neighbours and the Fire and Rescue Service the extent of damage was limited, but smoke and water damage was caused to Tracey's Housing Executive home and possessions and likewise to at least two adjoining houses.

"The conclusion that this fire is considered to be arson confirms what many already suspected in light of a previous paint attack and threats against Tracey."

He has appealed for "no further incidents and no escalation" and is urging anyone who can assist the police investigation to come forward.

Ms Coulter is blaming loyalist paramilitaries for the attack.

I have a message for them... I have no intention of moving from my home or from the Shankill. I was born on the Shankill and I will not be put out.

Tracey Coulter, arson victim

"I blame the UDA, a million per cent. This is part of a campaign of intimidation by the UDA that has been ongoing since July," Ms Coulter claimed.

"I'll keep me and my kids safe but I'll be moving nowhere. I have not murdered anyone. I've not poisoned anyone with drugs."

Ms Coulter believes the attack is linked to the outcome of a court case on Friday, when a top loyalist was convicted of head-butting her during a confrontation over drugs in west Belfast in July.

He is due to be sentenced in January.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
jim bob in armagh wrote (133 days ago):
these people have no place in our lives or areas they are gangsters !peoples lives are hard enough without bullies time for them to go away!
peter in derry wrote (135 days ago):
Good on you tracey for standing upto the Ulster Drugs Association!
shortstrand man in belfast wrote (135 days ago):
fair play to you dont let the scum push you out and stand up for what you believe in.
christine in Belfast wrote (135 days ago):
What type of people are they. It's about time someone stood up to these people. Good on you for standing your ground.
Dee in Belfast wrote (135 days ago):
Im also frm the west but the other side, & just want to say well done 4 what ur doing keep it up we need more like u on all sides..
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