Mountain Ash abusive neighbours evicted after 97 incidents

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Media captionThe amount of anti-social behaviour the family was responsible for has been described as 'staggering'

A family of four who abused, spat at and threatened to kill their neighbours have been forced to leave their home by a council.

The woman, her ex-partner and two adult sons were involved in a "staggering" amount of anti-social behaviour at the property in Mountain Ash.

Rhondda Cynon Taf council was also allowed by a court to board up the home after investigating 97 incidents.

Merthyr magistrates heard the tenants' behaviour was making neighbours ill.

An investigation was carried out into three years of complaints, which began a month after the family moved to the RCT Homes-owned house from Bristol in 2010.

The council took action to close the house in Glenboi in the town where Hillary Newell, 54, who has moderate learning difficulties, lived with her 23-year-old son Mark Pugh.

It was alleged that, along with a second son, Matthew, who also has moderate learning difficulties, and Newell's former partner David Newell, they had been involved in persistent drunken disorder and threatening behaviour.

Incidents outlined in court included:

  • Hilary Newell intimidating her neighbours and spitting at them.
  • Shouting and screaming throughout the night.
  • David Newell pushing a neighbour while Ms Newell insulted her while both appeared to be drunk.
  • Matthew Pugh screaming and shouting abuse at his neighbours.
  • Threats to kill.
  • Foul and abusive language to neighbours.
  • Banging on neighbour's walls.
  • Threats of violence against police officers and an assault against an officer.

Merthyr Tydfil magistrates were told that the family had been intimidating residents so that they were in fear of making complaints or coming forward to give evidence in court.

Some had been too afraid to go into their gardens because of abuse and harassment from the family.

Safety concerns

One of the neighbours also used to watch television with subtitles on due to the levels of noise coming from the property, said the council.

In a statement read out in court, PC Sian Weyman said the effect the family was having on neighbours was "immense".

"We have elderly and vulnerable persons living at the location, who have been exposed to years of continued noise, banging, shouting, screaming, swearing and recently threats," she said.

"Both neighbours have expressed concerns for their personal safety and that of their property."

The court was told how the council, South Wales Police and RCT Homes had spoken and contacted the family on dozens of occasions, including warning letters, one-to-one meetings and interviews in an attempt to resolve the problems.

However, due to the continued bad behaviour the court granted their request for a premises closure order to allow the council to close the property and evict the family.

It was the third such order successfully applied for by the council, which was the first in Wales to obtain a one after it came into power in December 2008.

David Jones, head of protection at Rhondda Cynon Taf council, said: "The fact that we have obtained the order in this case shows not only the seriousness of it but also that all the partners have worked tirelessly to resolve this issue for the benefit of the local community using a range of alternative techniques before resorting to this extreme measure."

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