A young, single mother who arrived at her new home in Willenhall, Coventry, last Monday morning with her two sons was met by a horrible sight after the outside of her home-to-be was vandalised by racists.
Sammie Sunter, 24, arrived at the address - where she had been decorating for the previous week - with her two young sons, Harvey, two, and Oscar, five, only to find black paint and faeces smeared across the front door accompanied by several racist notes.
One note which had been posted through the letterbox in a letter marked ‘oyinbo [a Nigerian word for a white person] b****’ read: 'Willenhall is black so f*** off'. Other threatening messages stated, “Black Power. Don’t stay too long or else...” and “We are watching you white b***h”.
Describing the incident Ms Sunter said: “I had to explain racism to my five-year-old. It's just not acceptable. He didn't really understand. If we are equal what gives the person responsible the right to do that?” She added, “I told him that whoever was responsible was going to get punished, but who knows if that will happen.”
Ms Sutner, 24, with her two young children
Following the incident, Ms Sutner and her children are now going to be re-housed but the single mum is annoyed that she has been forced away from her future home by racists. The 24-year-old said: “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.” She continued, “I hate racism in all its forms – but I never thought I would be a victim of it in Britain.”
It has since emerged that the housing association were aware of a previous similar racist incident at the property, which they failed to notify Ms Sutner about before she accepted the property. “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,” said Ms Sutner. She continued, “If it's happened before, and they have neglected to tell me, then they have put me and my children in danger.”
Carmel McCarthy, director of neighbourhood and housing 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.”
West Midlands Police, who are treating the incident as racially aggravated criminal damage, are looking into the crime and are urging anyone with information to come forward. Sergeant Stewart Lewis, from Coventry Police, said: “We were called after racist graffiti was daubed on a property in Mary Slessor Street overnight on Sunday 15 February. An offensive letter was also put through the letterbox.” He continued, “We are taking this report very seriously and are currently following up several lines of enquiry.”
Anyone with any information surrounding the incident should contact the police by calling 101, or, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.