‘This was attempted mass murder’, claims Peter Neill

Police at the scene at a flat on the Hazelbank Rod in the Heights area of Coleraine were up to eight shots were fired through the windows. The owner who was not at home at the time  was believed to be at a soccer match in Scotland.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON
Police at the scene at a flat on the Hazelbank Rod in the Heights area of Coleraine were up to eight shots were fired through the windows. The owner who was not at home at the time was believed to be at a soccer match in Scotland.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON

POLICE in Coleraine are trying to establish a motive for an attack on the flat of a well-known Coleraine man last week.

At shortly after 11.30 last Wednesday night, a number of shots were fired at Peter Neill’s flat at Hazelbank Road in the Heights area.

Mr Neill was not present at the time of the attack. He was in Glasgow watching Celtic’s Champions League match against Helsingborg. Speaking to a daily newspaper last week, Neill said that he had “cheated death” by going to Scotland and that he believes that loyalists were trying to kill him in the attack.

The 44-year-old said: “I only got a spare ticket for the football game that morning.”

He added that he and ten friends would usually gather at his home to watch Celtic matches, and that he believed those responsible “knew that”.

“This was attempted mass murder,” he said.

“Bullets came straight through the bullet proof windows,” he said.

There are conflicting reports about the number of shots that were fired in the attack.

One newspaper quoted 35, while another said that 18 rounds had been fired, from a “high calibre weapon”.

Police have confirmed that damage was caused to the living room and bedroom window of the property, and they have appealed for witnesses to come forward.

Community tensions have increased in recent weeks in the Heights area.

Last month an 800-strong march to Coleraine police station demanded increased policing to deal with anti-social behaviour and drug dealing.

Right: Peter Neill.