A gay man was pelted with stones by a gang outside of his home in Belfast in a shocking homophobic attack.
The 25-year-old man, who has not been named, has reportedly been victimised multiple times for his sexuality at his address over the last three years. In one incident, anti-gay slurs were spray painted onto his front door.
The man's mother, Paula Devine, told Belfast Live
that after repeated attacks, she is afraid for her son's life. "It's got to the stage now where I'm afraid they're actually going to kill him," she told Belfast Live.
She continued: "It started with slurs about six months after he moved in, the name calling, it's all homophobic abuse, once they found out he was gay that was it.
"He was seen as an easy target and it's just snowballed from then. It's all them wee hoods, you see the ones that are joyriding about the streets and they come from everywhere they're not even half from the area.
"The windows have been put in at least five times in the last three years, he's been in the house a few times when it's happened. They got into it and spray painted that graffiti all over the front door a few months ago."
In the most recent incident, Paula's son was pelted with stones while he walked home with his dog. He returned to his mother's house and she offered him a lift home, but the gang began throwing stones at the car.
The police have made little progress in investigating the incidents. Paula said: "We've loads and loads of police reports, and they've given plenty of referrals but unless they catch them there's nothing they can do and we don't know who they and even if we did know who they are you couldn't even name them, they would kill you."
Paula took aim at the Housing Executive in Northern Ireland for failing to protest her son, alleging that requests to have him moved have been ignored. "He was in a hostel for four years before this and he came out of the hostel a vulnerable person," she said.
"They wanted him to go to another hostel and it could be anywhere in Northern Ireland. They also offered him a flat in Lenadoon which is just too far away from my support."
Calls for automatic pardons for historic gay sex convictions
Iraqi actor and model killed for ‘looking gay’