Family vows to fight on despite third vandal attack in a week

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OWNERS of a new Midlothian restaurant have vowed not to bow to intimidation after suffering three vandal attacks in as many weeks.

Louise Toye told how Luci’s in High Street, Lasswade, had windows smashed twice and her home once causing up to £13,000 worth of damage.

Jim Toye, Louise Toye, Christina Demarco and Luci Toye at "Luci's", a family-run restaurant on Lasswade High Street.

Jim Toye, Louise Toye, Christina Demarco and Luci Toye at "Luci's", a family-run restaurant on Lasswade High Street.

Masked and bar-wielding yobs shattered panes at her nearby Eskbank family home as her 18-month-old grandson slept upstairs.

“It’s lucky he wasn’t in the living room when they smashed the windows – luckily he was upstairs in bed. My son screamed at them and they ran off,” said Mrs Toye, 56.

Shocking footage emerged at the weekend of the moment vandals launched the latest raid on Luci’s in the early hours of Saturday.

CCTV cameras clearly capture two masked men in dark hoodies striking the panes with bars shortly after 2am.

Both are believed to have walked down the middle of the road from the paper mill. Footage shows one striking a main floor to ceiling window with a bar twice – the second time shattering the glass – before the pair then go on to smash others.

The popular eatery was open as usual over the weekend with staff making light of the damage.

A board over one of the broken windows read: “Come on in, we’re having a smashing time.”

Mrs Toye is convinced the attack is targeted and linked to similar raids at her home and business on the restaurant’s opening night last month.

“We know who’s done it – they’ve said to these young lads ‘here’s £20 go and smash the windows’,” said Mrs Toye.

“We’ve got the blood of one of the guys as he’s cut his hand. He’ll get caught and then he could end up in a life of crime, it’s a spiral.

“I really hope these young guys that did it come forward so the police can be lenient with them.”

Mrs Toye condemned those behind the attacks and spoke out in the hope of preventing further victims.

“The thing is, we’re a strong family but this could be happening to an old person who’s not as strong,” she said. “I think from our point of view, we have to make a stand.”

And Mrs Toye praised customers and tradesmen in the area for rallying round the business.

“What is fantastic is the local community support,” she said. “We can’t give anybody another table because we’re so busy.

“They realise we’re trying to do something good and nice for the community.

“All the tradesmen came to help at 6am, boarding up windows and putting in glass – they’ve been fantastic too.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said of the weekend attack: “Police were called to a report of vandalism at a restaurant in the High Street area of Lasswade around 2am on Saturday, September 8. Inquiries are ongoing.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

andy.shipley@edinburghnews.com