A young lesbian couple claim their baby is lucky to be alive after a rock was thrown through their window in the latest in a string of “targeted hate attacks”.
Eight-week-old Hope Devine escaped injury by centimetres after the missile bounced off the top of the swing chair she was sleeping in on Monday evening.
Parents Lucy, 21, and Leanne, 22, have been left “distraught” by the incident, which they say is the latest in a string of attacks directed at the couple in the last 18 months.
The couple say they have had homophobic notes shoved through their letterbox and have been attacked as they walked to the shop.
Police have mounted nightly patrols at the couple’s home since the rock attack, which is being treated as a hate crime.
The pair have also been forced to increase security measures at their home for their safety.
Lucy said: “This most recent incident where the back window of the house was smashed was absolutely horrifying as our youngest daughter could have been killed.
“The rock missed her head by centimetres, she is lucky to be alive.
“The only reason I can honestly think of as to why we are being targeted this way is because of our sexuality as I can hand on heart swear that we have not done anything to anyone for us to be treated this way.
“I really can’t thank the police enough for all that they have done and are doing to help keep me and my family safe.”
The couple, who have been together for seven years, married two years ago and also have an older daughter, Faith, who is two.
They moved to their current home in Padiham, Lancs, in September, 2019, when Lucy says the hate campaign against them started.
Lucy added: “It started with minimal homophobic verbal abuse being thrown about at us while we were out around our area.
“But, with having that for the past seven years of us being together, we have just learned to take it with a pinch of salt and just let it go over our heads and be the bigger people.”
But after just a month the abuse escalated and police were called when Lucy and Faith, who was just one at the time, were pelted with stones as they made a visit to their local shop.
Lucy said: “My daughter was in a pram at the time and one of the stones hit her in the head.
“From then on it just got worse and every time we would go to the shop there would be verbal abuse, stones, drink and even food thrown at us.”
The incidents were reported to the police and the couple started shopping alone to keep their children out of harm’s way.
Over the past six months the couple’s garden has been trashed several times with ornaments smashed, plants stolen and homophobic insults daubed on their walls in chalk.
Insulting notes have been posted through their letterbox with slurs such as “Scumy lezbos”, “Die dykes” and “Lessys belong in hell”.
Lucy says a number of attempts have been made to break into the couple’s home by kicking the doors and picking the locks.
And in one terrifying incident, an attempt was made to burn a hole through the back door of their property.
Lucy added: “At first we thought it was just a random robbery attempt.
“But then it just kept happening along with more notes coming through the door and items being thrown at doors and windows, and even the children’s Wendy house, which has resulted in the children waking up terrified every night.”
In a desperate attempt to catch whoever is responsible the couple have been taking it in turns to keep watch at night while the other sleeps.
Lucy added: “Our relatives and friends are always checking in on us to see how we are doing and how they can help. They have been absolutely amazing throughout all of this.
“Our neighbours have also been amazing, doing all they can do to try and keep us safe.
“One neighbour even got us a 6ft gate built at the side of our house so there is no easy access to our back garden any more.
“We honestly cannot thank them enough.”