Man shaken after gang launch hammer attack - John Lindsay speaks out after third attack on home since November

Well-known Ballymagroarty resident John Lindsay has expressed gratitude to his neighbours for their support after his home was violently attacked for the third time in the last seven months.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 11:46 am

Mr. Lindsay’s home in Sheelin Park was beset by a gang armed with hammers and bars in the early hours of Monday. Significant damage was caused to the doors and windows of the property.

It’s the third violent attack since November.

Mr. Lindsay was left extremely shaken when confronted with an explosion of shattered glass and splintered wood in the aftermath.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ he said: “My home has been attacked three times in the last seven months. Each of these attacks took place between 11.30pm and 12.30am and took the form of men breaking windows and doors with hammers.

“The attacks have increased in intensity, the most recent one involving six masked men attacking the house simultaneously from front and back. No explanation or motivation has been offered by the individuals or organisation who may have carried out the attacks.”

Mr. Lindsay said the assaults on his home have had an impact not only on him but on other people living in the immediate area. He told the ‘Journal’ he has been moved by the solidarity shown by his neighbours in the wake of each of the onslaughts.

“The attacks have impacted my neighbours and family as well as myself. The last attack woke large numbers of children in surrounding houses, leaving them frightened, distressed and traumatised. All of my friends and neighbours in the estate have implored me not to move out or to ‘give in’ to this intimidation - whatever the motivation for the attack, it seems clear that this is its objective.”

John Lindsay.

Mr. Lindsay is well known locally. He has previously stood as an election candidate in Derry for the Cannabis is Safer Than Alcohol (CISTA) party on a platform calling for the decriminalisation of the drug. His 2012 book ‘No Dope Here? Anti-drugs Vigilantism in Northern Ireland’ pulled no punches and was explicitly critical of the summary justice that has been meted out by republican and loyalist paramilitary groups in working-class areas. He happens to self-identify as British and Protestant but told the ‘Journal’ the motivation for the escalating attacks on his home remains a mystery.

“I’ve lived in Ballymagroarty for over thirty years. I come from what would be a minority background here (British/Protestant) but I’ve always enjoyed good relations with the local community, I have family living in the area and built up close friendships and relationships within the estate,” he told the paper.

The PSNI confirmed that they are appealing for information following the latest incident in the early hours of Monday. Sergeant Breen said: “Police received a report, just before 00:30am, that a house had been attacked. Officers attended to find that a number of windows had been smashed, along with glass on the front door. While it’s fortunate that no physical injuries were sustained, the male occupant has understandably been left extremely shaken.

“I am appealing to anyone with information, or who noticed any suspicious activity in the area, to contact us on 101 quoting reference number 31 of 17/05/21.”

Information can be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at www.crimestoppers-uk.org