Stokes driven out of home by yobs

Anthony Stokes
Anthony Stokes
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CELTIC star Anthony Stokes and his heavily pregnant girlfriend are set to quit their West Lothian home after a gang of yobs laid siege to the luxury property at the weekend.

The gang smashed a window of their £400,000 Broxburn home in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Debbie Lawlor, 24, is understood to have been alone in the house while Stokes, 23, was in Inverness ahead of the Parkhead side’s clash with Caley Thistle.

Neighbours of the couple said they have not returned home since the attack and are looking to move out.

The attack came after a mob of 15 youths laid siege to the property and hurled a wheelie bin at a window after the Old Firm clash in October 2010. Stokes was also away during that incident when a gang shouted death threats and sang sectarian songs, but his parents were trapped inside.

Today one neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “We heard shouting between 2am and 3am in the morning. When we came down on Saturday morning the window was smashed.

“Debbie said she was in the house. It’s the last thing you need in her condition.

“Anthony was in Inverness and it must worry him to hear about this nonsense going on when he is away. They headed through to Glasgow on Saturday night and we haven’t seen them since.”

Neighbour Jim Armstrong, 51, said he spoke to Debbie on Saturday afternoon and boarded up the window for her.

He said: “She’s seven or eight months pregnant. If she was in when it happened she must have had a bit of a fright.

“I think she was a wee bit upset. I know Anthony phoned her to go to Glasgow after it.

“Whoever did it obviously targeted the house, because my van was sitting there and they haven’t touched it. I think it’s a Rangers-Celtic thing. It’s a piece of nonsense. He signs tops for the kids around here and things like that. It’s a shame because I think they want to move now. They are fantastic neighbours.”

Last year former Hibs ace Stokes, who moved to Celtic in 2010, vowed to stand up to bigots after the first attack.

However, he is thought to want to leave the rented house after the latest incident.

A source said: “They are looking to get out of the area now. Debbie is due early next year and so they will have a kid to think about too.”

They added: “They are great neighbours and it is disgraceful that they have to put up with this. The people who did this are idiots.”

Despite the attack Debbie reassured friends on Twitter she was “fine” after the attack.

She wrote: “Night of good company, good food and Twilight [the film] ahead.”

Police have confirmed they are investigating the incident at the weekend.

A spokesman for Celtic added: “It’s very concerning on the back of last year’s events. We hope the police will deal with is seriously and Anthony and his family will receive all the support the club can offer.”

rory.reynolds@edinburghnews.com