Schoolgirl attack because of her religion

A Belfast schoolgirl was punched repeatedly in the face simply because she was a Protestant, it was claimed today.

Police said the teenager was set upon by a gang of five and pulled to the ground by her hair during yesterday’s attack in the Old Park Road area of the city.

Detectives said they had not confirmed a motive but added it was “perceived” to be sectarian.

DUP councillor Diane Dodds said: “There is no doubt that this was a sectarian assault on a vulnerable child who was easily identifiable because of her school uniform.” She called for a review of transport arrangements to ensure pupil safety.

“It is intolerable that children are being attacked on their way home from school because of their community background,” she added.

“If the PSNI cannot guarantee the safety of these children then the education board must provide adequate transportation to make sure that they get home without harm.”

A police spokeswoman said: “The girl was punched a number of times to the face and pulled to the ground by her hair. “She sustained facial injuries but didn’t require hospital treatment.”


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