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Ball games cause problems for pensioner

PUBLISHED: 00:00 06 June 2003 | UPDATED: 13:57 03 March 2010

TEENAGERS playing ball games in an Ipswich close have been making a pensioner's life hell.

Donald Stow, 72, claims over the years he has suffered years of abuse and torment from troublemakers playing on grass outside his home in Flint Close.

TEENAGERS playing ball games in an Ipswich close have been making a pensioner's life hell.

Donald Stow, 72, claims over the years he has suffered years of abuse and torment from troublemakers playing on grass outside his home in Flint Close.

He has had plants pulled out of his garden, grass trampled on, mud dribbled along his window sill and has been hurled a volley of insults by some parents. One even tried to head-butt him.

Mr Stow contacted The Star after reading dad Keith Riches criticised the council for banning his children playing on grass in Conway Close.

Although the incidents are not connected Mr Stow wanted to highlight the distress some youngsters can cause. He has even been in contact with Victim Support.

Mr Stow, who has lived in Flint Close for 50 years, said: "It does make me angry and upset. Some people have no respect or people or property.

"I have been shouted out with young children in attendance. I have had a road cone thrown at my patio door and onions thrown at the back of my house. It has been going on for years. It creates an awful atmosphere and makes life a misery."

In the past youths, as many as 18, have come from other parts of the Maidenhall estate making the green a football pitch, knocking plants on gardens.

"I should be able to put plants in my garden without them being knocked down," he said. "But if you say anything you know you will get a mouthful."

He also argued games spill out onto the road causing a safety hazard.

More recently plants from the landscaped green have been pulled up and thrown or replanted into people's gardens.

"I am all for a quiet life," he said. "I am too old to want anything else."

He made it clear he wasn't behind the letters being sent by the council to parents of children who play on the grass.

Meanwhile, an Ipswich borough council spokesman said they were not aware of Mr Stow's problems but added: "We are determined to crack down hard on anti-social behaviour and are working with police to make Ipswich even safer.

"We continue to use anti-social behaviour orders where appropriate."

A police spokesman said: "We understand that nuisance crime such as vandalism can have on people and we would ask anyone with information on such crimes to get in touch with police."

He added: "We work in partnership with others such as Ipswich Borough Council to try and tackle anti-social behaviour and this work will continue."

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