Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Apology after police raid wrong home

The Silverbridge family whose home was raided and ransacked by the PSNI in a case of mistaken identity has vowed to seek redress, stating the incident has left them extremely upset and angry.

Shortly before noon on Monday last, up to ten police officers smashed the rear door and forcibly entered the Duffy family home in Tullydonnell.  The officers used a battering ram to gain entry to the semi-detached property, which was vacant at the time.  Rooms were ransacked as the officers searched the house, rifling through cupboards and emptied drawers, discarding their contents across rooms.

Neighbours looked on in amazement at the extensive police operation in their quiet estate and quickly alerted the owner and her son who left their place of work and returned to find absolute chaos in their home.

Shocked and angry, Conor Duffy took to social media to reveal the extent of damage caused and said the incident has left his widowed mother “extremely upset” and unable to feel safe in her own home.

Conor also revealed a search warrant, which was left on the kitchen table, was for “a completely different address in a completely different village in a 10km radius from us.”

Posting on Facebook, Conor said: “We came home to a broken door due to a battering ram and the house turned upside down looking for evidence to a crime that wasn’t even addressed to this house.  The search and warrant documentation left on the kitchen table was for a completely different address in a completely different village in a 10km radius from us..

“To make myself clear, the search was carried out using a warrant for a different address and left a widow with three children to pick up the pieces and restore the house to good order.  

I can’t even think of what would have happened if Mum, Shauna, Liam or myself were in the house when this event happened, the trauma would have been unimaginable.  My mother is extremely upset and feels like she isn’t safe in her own home, which infuriates me and my siblings as she has done her absolute best to support and raise us in a safe environment.”

Describing the “illegal trespassing” of the PSNI officers as “extremely unsettling and disturbing”, Conor added: “To know that 10+ PSNI officers were in my family home looking through our documents and belongings for no reason is appalling.  I wanted to put this statement out there to let people know that we have proof that this raid was wrong and there was no lawful accusation to it.