Father of petrol bombing victim thanks community for support

William Henning. Pic by Paul Byrne
William Henning. Pic by Paul Byrne

The father of a Banbridge man whose home was targeted in a petrol bomb attack last weekend has thanked the local community for their support in the wake of the terrifying incident.

Evan Henning’s 39-year-old son William, who has a learning disability, was forced to temporarily move out of his Hillview Terrace home following the attack in the early hours of Sunday, February 18.

The front of William Henning's Hillview Terrace home was damaged in the arson attack on February 18. 'Pic by Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

The front of William Henning's Hillview Terrace home was damaged in the arson attack on February 18. 'Pic by Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

William wasn’t physically injured in the attack, which caused damage to the front of the property, but he was left badly shaken and was forced to move back in with his parents while repairs were carried out.

Evan Henning, who ran a butcher’s shop in Banbridge for more than three decades before retiring last year, said the attack on his son’s home had been “a case of mistaken identity”.

Speaking to the Leader this week, he thanked all those who’d rallied to support William and the family following the attack.

Among those to come forward with offers of support were the local Lions Club and Downshire Guiding Star Flute Band, which William has been a member of for more than 20 years.

“We’ve had lots of offers of help from family, friends and the local community and I’d just like to thank people for their kindness. We appreciate all the offers of help and the many messages of support,” Evan said.

Repairs and redecoration work have been carried out to make the property liveable again, meaning William can move back in. And it’s hoped new windows will be installed sometime this week.

“William is very independent and he can’t wait to get moving back in. He’s keen to get back into his own house and all being well that will happen sometime this week,” Evan added.

On Monday a PSNI spokesman confirmed that as yet there have been no arrests made in connection with the attack on William Henning’s home, but he stressed that investigations into the incident are still ongoing.

Meanwhile, local Ulster Unionist Party Councillor Glenn Barr has said he’s “delighted” to hear that William has overcome the trauma of the arson attack on his house and that he’s now ready to move back home.

“I have known William for many years. He’s a good lad and it’s great to hear he’s moving back in and that he has the confidence to move back into the house after what happened,” Councillor Barr said.

Describing the petrol bombing incident as “despicable”, the UUP man added: “I would just like to appeal again to anyone who knows anything about who was responsible for the attack on William’s house to come forward and give that information to the police so that the perpetrators can be brought before the courts.”