Arson attack family had lost son in brutal stabbing

Pacemaker Press 6/4/2016
 Cecil and Barbara Williamson pictured after they escaped injury after a car was set on fire and pushed up against their home at Elm Park in Richhill, Co Armagh.

Pic Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 6/4/2016 Cecil and Barbara Williamson pictured after they escaped injury after a car was set on fire and pushed up against their home at Elm Park in Richhill, Co Armagh. Pic Pacemaker
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The family targeted in last night’s arson attack in Richhill were the parents of Marc Williamson, who was stabbed to death in Portadown in 2011.

Police are investigating a link between a number of arson attacks on cars in the Portadown, Richhill and Banbridge areas over the last few days.

In the latest attack at Elm Park in Richhill a car was set alight outside the family home, that fire spread to an oil tank which exploded and the house was then destroyed in the ensuing blaze.

The occupants Cecil and Barbara Williamson escaped without injury along with their son Robert David.

Police said: “On Monday, 4 April, a car was set alight at Brookfield Meadows, Banbridge shortly before 10.50pm. At 11.20pm on the same night, two cars were set alight with petrol bombs at College Grange, Portadown. During the early hours of this morning, a car was set on fire at Elm Park, Richhill.

“Police are asking the public to assist their investigation.”

Detective Inspector Keith Gawley, explained: “We are looking at a number of incidents within this investigation and piecing together evidence from each scene. We want to catch the criminals behind this and need your help in reporting any type of suspicious activity in your area when it occurs.

“If you notice people loitering in the area who are not normally there, if you notice vehicles frequenting your neighbourhood that you have not seen before, if you see people running off or cars driving at speed on your street please phone us straight away. The quicker we can respond to incidents the more chance we have of finding those responsible or vital evidence.

“We would like to hear from anyone who noticed any activity in Brookfield Meadows and College Grange on Monday night, 4 April, and anyone who noticed any activity in Elm Park during the early hours of this morning, 6 April. Anyone who has information that may assist our investigation can contact us on 101, quoting ref: 1325 040416 or 122060416.”

If you prefer to provide information without giving your details you can contact the independent Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Drug addict Denver Cardwell (26) brutally stabbed dad-of-one Marc Williamson (21) to death in his flat at Hartfield Avenue, Portadown, on 14 August 2011 He was jailed for 11 years for manslaughter in 2013.