Ipswich: Yobs’ reign of terror on Chantry newsagents – family feared for their lives
14:16 19 November 2012
A CHANTRY newsagent today told how his terrified family have been living in fear of their lives after being constantly hounded by a group of young yobs.
Two of the teenage troublemakers – Oliver Laughlin, of Fonnereau Road, and Jordan Pearson, of Aster Road – must now abide by restraining orders after admitting a litany of anti-social behaviour against Hirenkumar Patel, who runs and lives above Lavender News in Lavender Hill, with his wife Dipika, 31, and 11-month-old son Rian.
Mr Patel said he has been scared his family would be killed after a firework was thrown on to the balcony outside their flat, just ten feet away from where his son was sleeping inside.
The Patels were so terrified after the incident that they were unable to sleep in their bedroom and have felt compelled to get up at various times during the night to check there home was safe.
Laughlin and Pearson, both 18, pleaded guilty to harassment without violence when they appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court, although Pearson denied involvement with the firework incident.
After the case, Mr Patel said he had encountered problems since he began running the shop in November 2010.
However, they became particularly bad over the past six or seven months.
The 38-year-old said: “We have been very, very terrified. It started on a big scale from March.
“During the day they [the group] harass me from the front of the store. At night they harass us from behind the store where my flat is.
“The harassment is sometimes up until 2am. They throw eggs and fireworks.
“Over the last six or seven months, we have looked out of our front and back windows at least three times at night. It’s affected our lives and we can’t sleep properly.
“It’s an unbearable situation. I work for about 15 to 16 hours a day and then afterwards I have had to face other things.
“The fear gets worse. I was worried for my family. It has cost me money, because I have needed enhanced security.
“Our bedroom is on the second floor. If fireworks are thrown and there is a fire in the building, we could be killed.”
Mr Patel hopes the 12-month restraining order against Laughlin and Pearson will calm things down, but he is still worried for the future.
Asked what he would say to the teenagers, he said: “Harassment is wrong. Please stop harassing people. We want to be safe in our home and our shop.”
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