Vulnerable man targeted in ‘sickening’ arson attack

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A man with severe learning difficulties was targeted in a “sickening” arson attack in Co Down, police have said.

The incident, which happened in the Hillview Terrace area in Banbridge at around 5.30am this morning, has been described by the PSNI as a “horrific attempt on an innocent life”.

Officers said that a vulnerable young man was woken by the sound of his upstairs bedroom window smashing as he lay in bed.

A petrol bomb was then thrown at the hole in the broken window. Thankfully, it did not enter the house, but set alight to the outside of the window and the window sill below.

A passing taxi driver raised the alarm and the PSNI and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service were on scene quickly.

Police said they knew of no reason why the man had been targeted, adding that neighbours had been left “baffled, alarmed and angry”.

The attack has been condemned by politicians across the divide.

Sinn Fein MLA John O’Dowd described it as “disgraceful” and urged anyone with information to contact police.

DUP MLA Carla Lockhart said it was “disgusting and despicable”.

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