A disabled Larne man has spoken of his shock and anger after his house and car were damaged in an unprovoked attack.
A brick was thrown through the living room window of Ryan Conway’s home in Knockdhu Park, Craigyhill, shortly before 11pm on Thursday, February 6.
Ryan, who suffers from spina bifida and hydrocephalus – a build-up of water on the brain – lives with his two sisters, his mother and her partner, who is Portuguese.
The attackers also smashed a window in Ryan’s Motability car before setting the back seat of the vehicle alight.
The car, a specially modified Vauxhall Astra, was taken away by police for forensic examination.
And Ryan told the Times he has been left devastated by the loss of his car, which he described as his “lifeline” to the outside world.
The 27-year-old said: “That car represents my independence and I rely on it any time I need to leave the house for hospital appointments or anything else. I am basically housebound without it.
“I am just so angry and upset about this whole thing and can’t understand why someone would do this.
“I have been told by police that it could possibly have been a hate crime.”
One thing that has helped lift Ryan’s spirits through this traumatic period is the flood of messages of support that have appeared on his Facebook page.
One comment read: “So sorry to hear this Ryan. Awful experience for you and your family. God bless.”
Ryan added: “Loads of people have been sending me their best wishes and telling me to keep my chin up, which has been a big help.”
His mother Michelle branded those responsible for the attack as “cowards and hoodlums”.
She added it was “lucky” that no one was injured in the attack.
She said: “If anyone had been sitting in the living room when that brick came through the window, they could have been seriously hurt or killed. There is a 16-year-old and an eight-year-old living in this house, who were both left terrified by what happened.”
Despite the family’s ordeal, Michelle vowed the family would not be driven from their home.
“We have lived in Knockdhu Park for the past 13 years and have never had any problems like this before,” she added.
“This is a Housing Executive house and has been modified specifically to cope with Ryan’s condition.
“We have no intention to move out of this house.”
East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson condemned the attack and said: “There is no justification for this attack. The people responsible are obviously callous individuals who have no regards for the consequences of their actions.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 0845 600 8000. You can also provide information anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.