A mother-of-four whose home was burned in what she believes to be a UDA attack yesterday vowed to return home.
Tracey Coulter said she was hopeful of moving back into the house off Belfast’s Shankill Road in the aftermath of Sunday’s blaze, which both she and police suspect was arson.
The fire began at around 7.15pm. Miss Coulter – whose children range in age from four to 15 – had been attending a christening in church at the time, and the property was unoccupied.
Miss Coulter, daughter of slain UDA figure Jackie Coulter, said she has recently experienced intimidation such as paint being thrown at her windows and death threats.
She lost her cousin Neil Orr, 24, to suspected drug abuse in July, and has complained about drug dealing in the area.
Yesterday she was hopeful of moving back into the rented Housing Association property before Christmas.
“If I had’ve been in that house, me and the kids, it would’ve been a tragedy all round,” said the 36-year-old, who believes the UDA were responsible “without a doubt”.
“I’m not moving – I’m getting the house sorted out now.”
She said the attacks only made her “more determined”, and added: “It’s not about loyalism. They’re gangsters and bullies. The community are absolutely disgusted, even people that’d maybe not like me or whatever ... there’s quite a bit of support from the community. Disgust and outrage.”
DUP councillor Brian Kingston said the fire was the product of “evil actions of sinister people who are on the wrong side of law and order”.
Miss Coulter was the subject of an assault by leading loyalist William ‘Mo’ Courtney in July. He was convicted for the attack on Friday.
The PSNI said in a statement that “at this stage, police believe the fire may have been started deliberately”. It added: “All lines of inquiry are being followed.”
Asked about the other acts of alleged intimidation against her, the police added they were aware of “a number of incidents at a residential property” in the area over recent months.