Northern Ireland police are investigating after a transgender woman’s home was pipe bombed.
The person responsible left the pipe bomb on her windowsill so when it exploded, the window shattered and showered the victim, Rachael Keys, with glass.
Rachael was very lucky to escape without injury, and later told Belfast Live that police believe she was targeted for being transgender.
“I am a member of the LGBT community. The police feel that I may have been attacked because of that reason.”
Rachael wasn’t the only one effected by this horrible crime, five families had to be evacuated and forced to seek shelter in the local community centre.
Rachael went on to say: “I was just watching TV in my living room. Suddenly the window came through, there was glass everywhere and there was a big bang and a flash. I was covered in glass. To be honest I was completely dazed, I didn’t know what was happening. It scared the life out of me. I just ran out of the house screaming to my neighbours. I didn’t even have time to lift my poor cat, Jessie, who was sleeping in the bedroom. I was terrified, shaking, upset.”
“The police came and cordoned the place off and evacuated us all to the community centre. I was totally dazed. One of my neighbours is epileptic and I was really worried about her not being able to get her medication. Another neighbour has a child who is autistic, another is a pensioner. It was awful for them. Just awful.”
“We all had to sleep in the community centre overnight. I was distraught. Someone gave me a tablet to help calm me down and help me sleep. I didn’t sleep though.”
A spokesperson for the local police force said to the newspaper: “We are lucky that no one was injured by this device, or by the window smashing. This is being treated as a sectarian hate crime and I would appeal to anyone with any information about this incident to contact detectives at Strand Road police station on the non-emergency number 101”