Boy tells of horror during sectarian pellet gun attack

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A 16-year-old boy has been assaulted and shot with a pellet gun in a sectarian hate crime in west Belfast.

The victim, Jamie Bickerstaff, was attacked by a number of youths at the Ballygomartin Road at the site of the former Mackies factory.

He had been making his way home to the Woodvale area after visiting Catholic friends in the Lagmore estate.

Mr Bickerstaff told the BBC: “About seven people approached me and asked me where I was from.

“And I said Woodvale, and he said say it again, and I said Woodvale.

“Then he put a mask up over his face and then he started hitting me.

“Then all of them came over and one pulled out a pellet gun and started shooting me.”

The youth added: “I was terrified.”

A PSNI spokesman said the incident happened on Wednesday at 10.50pm.

They appealed for anyone with any information about the incident to contact police on the non-emergency number 101.