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Man claims attack on Belfast house is gay hate crime

Paul Finlay-Dickson meets Lord Mayor of Belfast, Nichola Mallon,  over the campaign of homophobic attacks on his house in north Belfast. Mr Finlay-Dickson recently lost his husband Maurice to cancer

Paul Finlay-Dickson meets Lord Mayor of Belfast, Nichola Mallon, over the campaign of homophobic attacks on his house in north Belfast. Mr Finlay-Dickson recently lost his husband Maurice to cancer

A man has claimed that an attack on a house he was due to move in to in north Belfast was a homophobic hate crime.

Paul Finlay-Dickson said he has been the victim of a series of attacks and death threats and is now too scared to go to the property in the mainly loyalist Tiger’s Bay.

He said: “I am being attacked because of my sexual orientation. I am not the only gay man in Northern Ireland.

“This is a homophobic hate crime attack and something needs to be done about it because I can’t take much more,” he told the BBC.

At 2.10am on Saturday it was reported to police that a gang of men, one carrying a sledgehammer, were attacking a house in Cosgrave Heights. Damage was caused to a door and a number of windows were smashed. There was nobody in the house at the time.

Earlier this year a gay rights movement ‘Rainbow’ flag due to be placed on the coffin of Mr Finlay-Dickson’s deceased civil partner, who died of cancer, was covered in faeces by attackers.

Homophobic Attack in North Belfast

The surviving partner of a gay married couple has been targeted by a group of thugs.  This attack was not Paul Finlay-Dickson with his civil partner Maurice, who died of cancer last monthisolated, indeed it has been reported that the home of the couple was targetted more than 20 times.

In a statement made to the BBC News channel,  Supt Paula Hillman said police were aware of a number of reports made by a resident in north Belfast since August 2013.

“These reports vary in nature and investigations have been conducted and local neighbourhood police officers have been in contact with and continue to liaise with the victim,” she added.

“As with any incident reported the victim is updated and signposted to additional support services where applicable.”

In 2013, at the launch of Anti-Homophobia Week at the city hall, it was revealed that  anti-gay violence in Northern Ireland is massively underplayed, with eight out of 10 attacks not reported to the police, according to research.  A report by the Equality Commission revealed that nearly half of the gay community in the province (44%) are unaware that the law can protect them.

This current, homophobic attack highlights just how serious we must take these attacks, and why we ust report them to the authorities and also to our own LGBT monitoring groups who will support you and your family through the crisis.

This was a cowardly attack, on a vulnerable person who is grieving for his partner, the instigators of this homophobic crime must be brought to justice in the courts.

 

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