Posted on February 20, 2015

Racist Vandals Target Willenhall Mum’s New Flat Saying the Area Is for “Black Sisters and Brothers”

Sam Dimmer, Coventry Telegraph, February 19, 2015

Racist graffiti and feces was daubed on the front door of a Coventry mum’s new flat just a few days after she was handed the keys.

Sammie Sunter, aged 24, was confronted with the horrific scene when she took her boys, aged two and five, to see their new home for the first time on Monday.

As well as the vile graffiti, faeces and anti-vandal paint had been smeared on the door and a note had been posted through the letterbox saying the flat, in Mary Slessor Street, Willenhall, was for “black sisters and brothers”.

The note also states that “Willenhall is black so f*** off”.

There was also a drawing of a gun and the word “Oyinbo” which is Nigerian slang for a white person.

West Midlands Police is treating the attack as racially aggravated criminal damage and said the incident was being taken “very seriously”.

Housing association Whitefriars, which owns the flat, has confirmed there has also been a “previous incident” at the address.

Sammie, who lives with sons Harvey Anderson, two, and Oscar Rock, five, said: “I got the keys on Wednesday and spent the rest of the week decorating the boys’ bedrooms.

“I left the flat at 4pm on Sunday and got back there at 9am on Monday to see this.

“I had to explain racism to my five-year-old. It’s just not acceptable.

“I said that it looked like whoever was responsible was African. He wanted to know why they hated us.

“He didn’t really understand. If we are equal what gives the person responsible the right to do that?

“I told him that whoever was responsible was going to get punished, but who knows if that will happen.”

Sammie, a hairdresser who works at Grand in Radford, has now found a new property and is getting ready to move in.

She said she has lived in Willenhall for 15 years and has never experienced anything like this before.

“These people make Willenhall out to be some sort of ghetto,” Sammie said.

“They say it’s their area but it’s really not–there’s a little old white man living in the flat below.

“The whole point of this is that it’s not right. I’m not going to sit there and take it.

“I had to have a police escort away from my property and I knew I was being watched.

“You hold your head up high but it’s disgusting.

“Whitefriars were the first people I rang when this happened and when I spoke to someone they said they didn’t think it would happen again.

“I think they have allowed this to happen. If it’s happened before, and they have neglected to tell me, then they have put me and my children in danger.”

Police have made door-to-door inquiries while forensics experts are studying the note. Officers are also liaising with Whitefriars.

Because the Mary Slessor Street flat is on the first floor and looks out onto the busy street police are hopeful that somebody witnessed the incident.

Carmel McCarthy, director of housing and neighbourhood services, said: “We absolutely deplore the actions reported and are working closely with the police to identify the culprit and to press for the strongest possible actions to be taken against them.

“There had been a previous incident reported at the property, which we passed on to the police for investigation.

“We closely monitor these events and in this case it appeared to be a one-off incident.

“As soon as Ms Sunter drew this incident to our attention, we offered her another home, which she will be moving into shortly.

“We have been working closely with Ms Sunter and the police on this incident and will continue to do so.

“Whitefriars always seeks to take strong action against any and all hate crime and we have close links with the police who work with us to investigate and prosecute these types of incidents.”