Burglary terror

Ciernan, Fiona and Mason McLaughlin. (0604PG90)
Ciernan, Fiona and Mason McLaughlin. (0604PG90)

A Derry mother has spoken about the terrifying moment she realised thieves had entered her Earhart Park home, while she and her children were in bed.

Fiona McLaughlin was asleep at 6:00am on Wednesday morning when she heard noise downstairs and discovered that someone was driving away from her home in a car belonging to her partner.

She’s now taken extra measures to secure her home and says she’s been terrified ever since the frightening so-called ‘creeper burglary’.

“I haven’t been able to sleep or relax and I’ve been having panic attacks. I just can’t believe people were in my home and I want to warn people to be careful and lock up because this could happen to anyone else who has a car in the driveway,” she said.

The mother of two said the people who broke into her home would have seen her children’s toys but it didn’t deter them.

“They went ahead anyway. They didn’t even care,” she said, “They even took the wee purses my children play with. They must have thought they’d get money from them.”

The car which had been stolen was later involved in a collision at Redcastle in Co. Donegal and a 15 year old was arrested by Gardai.

Ms. McLaughlin said: “This whole experience has left me so shaken. I live here on my own with the children and I’m finding it so hard now to be able to relax.

“I don’t even know if I’ll be comfortable staying here long term.

“I really just want to tell people to be vigilant so that no-one else has to go through the same thing,” she said.

A police spokesperson said: “Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact CID in Strand Road Police Station on 0845 600 8000. Or if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”