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Family's anger over racist attacks

PUBLISHED: 19:00 03 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:49 03 March 2010

SUFFOLK mum Vicky Hilden today branded her family's racist tormentors faceless cowards.

For almost a year Miss Hilden and her children have suffered a torrent of attacks at their house in Poppy Close, Ipswich.

SUFFOLK mum Vicky Hilden today branded her family's racist tormentors faceless cowards.

For almost a year Miss Hilden and her children have suffered a torrent of attacks at their house in Poppy Close, Ipswich.

The 35-year-old also holds the culprits responsible for the premature birth of her new baby.

Although the mother-of-six is white, her children have dark skin as their father was black.

Because of this she said Sonny, 15, Darrell, 11, Reamal, six, and Cheyton, seven, face verbal and physical abuse everyday in the street and at school.

Oldest son Levi, 18, does not live in Poppy Close permanently but the family fear for future of their six-week-old daughter, Precious, who was born six weeks prematurely.

The house is in darkness where smashed windows have been boarded up. Racist graffiti and death threats have been sprayed on their fences, dog mess posted through the letterbox, and their car tyres have been slashed. Five attacks have been reported to the police in the past year.

In the latest attack – the second in a month – a lump of concrete was hurled through a toughened-glass window in the front door with such force it travelled 12ft before crashing into the wall at the back of the hall.

She said: "It is a living nightmare. We never know what is going to happen next or when it will come. I am convinced that the stress caused the premature birth of my baby."

Neighbour Linda Woodward, 45, said: "I think the attacks are wicked. I am disgusted. They are a lovely family and we have got on well since the day they moved in. I wish people would leave them alone and get on with their own lives."

There are no windows at the front of the house left to smash. The back door has also been attacked and is boarded up leaving only two windows on the ground floor where light can get in.

Miss Hilden said: "It's not worth replacing the glass as it will just get smashed again. They are faceless cowards. It was so late when the last attack happened, it can't be kids."

The family moved to the three-bedroom property last May from the West Villa Homeless Families Centre in Woodbridge Road. They had hardly settled in when the trouble started in August.

Miss Hilden said: "My kids have had death threats and been chased by cars. They even get called racist names at school."

Attacks from the Jennifer and Robert Wightman living next door forced the family to seek refuge back at the West Villa.

In November the Evening Star reported the couple's conviction for racially aggravated harassment and soon after they moved out.

But as soon as the Hildens returned to their house trouble started again.

The family has been on the council waiting list to be moved since September. They do not want to leave their house – which they have refurbished at a cost of around £6,000 – but feel they are being driven out by racists.

N What do you think? 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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