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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

2 locked away for anti-Muslim assault in Belfast

Sam Croskery, 21, and Dylan Stuart Waggott, 22, along with an accomplice, donned masks as they stormed into a flat on Lawrence Street.

The streets of Belfast, Northern Ireland, were rocked by an appalling act of violence in June 2021 when three individuals, masked and armed with bigotry, launched a vicious attack on foreign residents in a block of flats in south Belfast. This incident highlights the persistent threat of hate-fueled violence and the importance of standing together against such abhorrent acts.

The Attack

Sam Croskery, 21, and Dylan Stuart Waggott, 22, along with an accomplice, donned masks as they stormed into a flat on Lawrence Street, shouting xenophobic slurs and assaulting the occupants. Their victims, targeted solely because of their ethnicity and religion, suffered physical injuries and emotional trauma.

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The Sentencing

In a demonstration of justice, Croskery and Waggott were sentenced to prison terms of 27 months and 22 months, respectively. Stephen Kerr, 24, the driver, received a combination order of community service and probation. Judge Gordon Kerr emphasized the seriousness of their crimes, highlighting that no one has the right to take the law into their own hands.

Community Response

The community, outraged by the attack, rallied against such acts of hatred. Police expressed determination to bring perpetrators to justice and send a clear message that such crimes will not be tolerated. Claire Hanna, MP for Belfast South, denounced the attack and highlighted ongoing efforts to combat extremism and racism in the area.

National Condemnation

The incident garnered attention at the national level, with Michael Gove, the UK Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Minister, condemning the attack and expressing solidarity with the victims. His condemnation echoed the sentiments of many who reject prejudice and bigotry in all its forms.

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The victims of the attack bravely spoke out, detailing the profound impact it had on their lives. One victim described the deep emotional scars left by the assault, while another spoke of the trauma that forced him to relocate. Their voices serve as a reminder of the human cost of hate-fueled violence.