Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Residents Shocked as Racist Graffiti Appears

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Residents Shocked as Racist Graffiti Appears

Article excerpt

Byline: Kathryn Riddell Reporter kathryn.riddell@trinitymirror.com

AQUIET Northumberland estate has been left reeling after Islamophobic graffiti and swastikas were daubed on a rundown cottage.

The words 'Death to Islam' and other offensive vandalism were discovered sprayed on the property on Tuesday morning. The empty cottage is owned by Northumberland County Council and sits at the entrance to the Allerburn Lea estate in Alnwick.

It became a target for vandals overnight on Monday. Retired policeman Doug Thomas was one of the first to discover the scene.

He said: "The graffiti said 'Death to Islam' with some swastikas.

"The police and council were there. My wife had gone past it at half six, she rang me up to tell me about it. Everybody was stopping because it was so prominent."

He added that council workers used a spray to quickly remove the black marks.

"It was pretty shocking, I was pleased that the council came out so quickly to get rid of it and it was gone by half past nine."

Another Allerburn Lea neighbour, who didn't want to be named, said: "It was unbelievable to see it this morning. If the message was against immigrants and Muslims, Alnwick has hardly got either.

"It's a lovely little house, and a quiet place to begin with. I think the vandals must have come from another area."

Residents said a council caretaker and his wife used to live in the cottage but the small home had been left empty for two years.

Alnwick councillor Gordon Castle condemned the "truly depressing" act, saying that it's the first time he'd seen such a crime in the area.

He said: "It most definitely does not reflect Alnwick. It's something the likes of which I have never seen here before.

"If there are these sorts of views in Alnwick, they've been extremely well hidden.

"I hope it's just a mindless youth yob, who didn't know what they're doing, but if it's someone who knew the full extent of their horrible intentions, they deserve to be dealt with. …

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