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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 December, 2003, 02:05 GMT
Boy's memorial vandalised
Bicycle examined at death scene
The boy's family is bitter at the vandalisation

Vandals have targeted a memorial to a teenager killed at a sectarian flashpoint in Belfast.

Thomas McDonald, 16, was struck by a car as he rode his bicycle along Whitewell Road in September 2001.

The dead boy's family says floral tributes at the death scene have been destroyed and a union jack burned.

His father, also called Thomas McDonald, said: "It's just one thing after another and if it's not the flowers being wrecked it's graffiti on the wall."

A County Antrim mother of six was sentenced to two years in prison for Mr McDonald's manslaughter - Alison McKeown, 33, admitted killing him by dangerous driving but denied murdering him.

The Protestant youth was knocked from his bike by the Catholic woman's car when she chased him along a footpath after he had thrown a brick at her windscreen.

Sectarian tensions were high at the time during the loyalist protest outside the Holy Cross Girls' primary school in another part of north Belfast.

The incident followed rioting between rival loyalist and nationalist crowds at the Whitewell interface.

McKeown's defence counsel had argued that although it had been a rash and dangerous act, it had been carried out in the heat of the moment.




SEE ALSO:
Woman guilty of bicycle boy's killing
10 Jan 03  |  Northern Ireland
Video captures teenager's death
09 Dec 02  |  Northern Ireland



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