Family's nightmare at hands of yobs

A FELIXSTOWE mother today spoke of her family's living nightmare as the victims of beatings and harassment from a gang of teenage yobs.Deborah Turnbull – whose disabled daughter Rebecca has been mercilessly picked on by the gang – said she and her children had endured a torrent of verbal and physical abuse from up to 40 young tearaways.

A FELIXSTOWE mother today spoke of her family's living nightmare as the victims of beatings and harassment from a gang of teenage yobs.

Deborah Turnbull – whose disabled daughter Rebecca has been mercilessly picked on by the gang – said she and her children had endured a torrent of verbal and physical abuse from up to 40 young tearaways.

She spoke out on the day that home secretary, David Blunkett, published new laws to deal with Britain's out of control 'yob culture'.

"We get attacked at least three of four times a week and feel like prisoners trapped in our own home. We are scared to leave and have to look over our shoulders all the time," said Mrs Turnbull.

During their reign of terror the mob have assaulted the children leaving them needing hospital treatment. They have threatened to slit their throats, killed the pet rabbits and vandalized their property.

On more than occasion the family have had to seek refuge on friends' sofas to ease their torment.

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Mrs Turnbill said: "We can't walk up Langer Road without being followed and spat at all the way. I spent £83 on taxis in a week to go to town to avoid the gang."

The children's education is also suffering. To avoid confrontation on the way to and from school the children are skipping some classes.

The trouble started when Mrs Turnbull's daughter, Rebecca Clithero, was taunted in the garden at their home in Langer Road. The seven-year-old has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. "A couple of lads had upset her by shouting 'spastic' at her. She had done nothing wrong as she can't walk or talk. I went out to tell them to clear off and they retaliated by throwing stones." Mrs Turnbull said.

Just days later Rebecca's father, Terry Russell, 33, was attacked on his way to the nearby shops. He reported the incident to the police but discovered that the youth had made up a different story and found himself arrested. Luckily two witnesses had seen the whole thing so the charge was dropped.

From then on the abuse got continually worse as friends of the original tormentors joined in. Stones were thrown at the house and Mrs Turnbull's other children were beaten-up. Her 12-year-old son, Wayne, was targeted by one of the yobs as he cycled home from school.

Mrs Turnbull said: "His collar bone were broken just a few yards from our house. We pressed charges but the culprit was just bound over to keep the peace for nine months, if he breaks it his parents will probably bail him out of trouble." Her daughter Katie, 13, has also been badly beaten.

"We are on a waiting list for somewhere else to live but there is nowhere available with wheelchair access," Mrs Turnbull added.

N Last week a 15-year-old boy was ordered to pay compensation to Terry Russell after appearing before Ipswich magistrates' court on a charge of affray. The case related to an incident where a gang of thugs hurled rocks and abuse at Mr Russell and two friends causing them to hide a nearby house. The house in Undercliffe Road was also attacked.

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