Magilligan house attack designed ‘to kill’

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A Magilligan woman whose family escaped injury in an attack on her home said whoever was behind it was “out to kill”.

Jeanette Doherty’s home on Limestone Road suffered severe scorch damage to the front door and the window after what she described as two plastic containers full of diesel and fire lighters caught alight.

Damage to the front of the Doherty's house on Limestone Road, Magilligan.

Damage to the front of the Doherty's house on Limestone Road, Magilligan.

Mrs Doherty told the ‘Journal’ if she hadn’t of spotted the flames going up the front of the house, there could have been a “real tragedy”.

“I decided to stay up late on Wednesday night and then I decided to go to my bed. My husband was in bed and my daughter, 16, was upstairs. I was in the kitchen and, I don’t know what made me turn around, but I came back into the living room to check everything was off and I just seen the flames going up the living room window and I shouted to my husband and he got up and the wee girl came running down. She ran outside and got the hose to put the flames out at the front door and he had basins of water to put the flames out in the porch.

“It was very scary. My daughter is lucky to be alive today because if that had of went in the stairs would have been blocked and she never would never have got out. It was deliberate, definitely deliberate. There were two plastic containers full of diesel and fire lighters just sitting at the front door.”

Mrs Doherty, who said they are preparing for a family wedding next month, had this message for whoever was responsible for the attack.

Damage to the front of the house.

Damage to the front of the house.

“I don’t know how they can live with themselves - a young girl of 16 was in this house - it could have been a tragedy. Whoever done it was out to do permanent damage, they were out to kill. It was only by the grace of God that I came back into check,” said Mrs Doherty.

Police in Limavady are appealing for witnesses.

Chief Inspector Catherine Magee said: “Local police officers responded to a call from a householder who reported that an object had been left at the front door and caught fire. The victim extinguished the object with water before prior to the arrival of police and firefighters.

“Damage was caused to the front door however no one was injured.

“The incident happened shortly before 2am on 23 July and police would like to speak to anyone who was in Limestone Road in Limavady around that time and saw or heard anything suspicious to contact them on 101. Or if someone would like to pass information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”