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Couple under siege in their own home

PUBLISHED: 23:45 28 May 2004 | UPDATED: 04:55 02 March 2010

TERRY Smy has paid for protecting his home with blood, after being set upon by teenagers wielding slats of wood.

Today the 48-year-old, of Pauline Street, Ipswich, told how he ended up with six stitches in his head and has been left feeling under siege after being targeted by yobs.

TERRY Smy has paid for protecting his home with blood, after being set upon by teenagers wielding slats of wood.

Today the 48-year-old, of Pauline Street, Ipswich, told how he ended up with six stitches in his head and has been left feeling under siege after being targeted by yobs.

Mr Smy, who works for Manganese Bronze, said: "I have been living here for 18 years and in that time there has never been any real trouble until about last October.

"I had been working a 2pm to midnight shift, came home and all of a sudden there was a mighty bang. I went out into the back garden but could not see anything. The following morning I went into the back bedroom and the window was smashed.

"Just before Christmas we started having trouble with people kicking the door between 7.30pm to 8.30pm. It stopped for a little while and started again in January.

"Then at the beginning of February, I was on a 2pm-10pm shift when my wife rang me at work. She was crying and in a distressed state because someone had put a hole in the front door. I had to stop everything and just came home."

Mr Smy said the damage meant they had to replace the door, costing him and his wife, Rissa, £700.

But worse was to come.

Mr Smy said: "On Valentines Day at about 1.15pm there was a group of about 15-16 young boys aged 10-16. I was in the kitchen and saw them walking past. Suddenly there was a bang on the front door. I went to the window and saw the group walking down the road. I put my coat and shoes on and followed them down to Stoke Bridge, taking a camera with me. I got round in front of them and they turned round. I started taking as many pictures as I could and they turned and ran off towards Stoke Street. I rang the police but they (the group) came back about an hour and a half later and did the same thing again.

"I went out again with my camera and followed them into Station Street and kept taking as many pictures as I could. They climbed over a wall. I tried to restrain one of them, but unfortunately five or six appeared with pieces of wood and started hitting me with them.

"I didn't feel anything until I felt wet on the top and side of my head. There was blood everywhere. At that stage I thought it best to leave."

Mr Smy gave the pictures he had taken to police, but said officers told him they could not get them to admit they did anything wrong.

About a week later he put up CCTV cameras to protect his home. With the floodlights he has had installed and the electrical work he has had done, Mr Smy estimates he has spent £500 just to safeguard his property.

He said: "I had no choice. Because my wife is terrified to be in the house by herself while I'm at work. I don't really know what else to do. Ninety per cent of the youths round her are good and they are no problem whatsoever, but the other 10 pc are the ones who are causing the trouble. You just can't relax. You just can't come home and do whatever you want to do. As soon as I see a group of youths walking past the window I think 'what's going to happen now?"

Mr Smy said he is willing to pay a £100 reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the offender who cut his CCTV cable.

Inspector Darrin Tomkins, who is in charge of policing west Ipswich, said: "We would like anybody who can identify this individual to get in touch with us either anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or by telephoning the officer involved Pc Emma Florey on Ipswich 613500."

Insp Tompkins said extra patrols have been set up in the area to provide reassurance for residents and rid the area of anti-social behaviour, which the police take very seriously.

N Have you ever been a target in your own home? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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