Fear of mystery garden invaders

A COUPLE have today told how they are living in fear as night after night their garden is invaded and dug up by torch light.Isobel and Robert Woolnough have lived happily in their Ipswich home for 15 years but for two months they have endured frightening visits from silent strangers who overturn rocks, destroy walls and paths and leave holes 2 foot deep.

A COUPLE have today told how they are living in fear as night after night their garden is invaded and dug up by torch light.

Isobel and Robert Woolnough have lived happily in their Ipswich home for 15 years but for two months they have endured frightening visits from silent strangers who overturn rocks, destroy walls and paths and leave holes 2 foot deep.

The couple, of Burrell Road, fear their garden is being targeted by a criminal gang who buried something there and now want it back.

"Every single day for the last couple of months they have been here," said Mrs Woolnough.

"Every night, every time we leave the house, you go out in the garden and something new has been done. We'll hear something, get up to look and they'll run, you just see shadows and silhouettes.

"Whatever it is they are looking for it must be very valuable and they must really want it back."

Most Read

The garden backs onto Willoughby Road and the couple say the intruders have damaged and destroyed fences along the back of several gardens to make their nightly searches.

The visits began in mid July when the couple decided to make some changes in their garden and Mr Woolnough cut down a tree.

"It was virtually the next day it all started," Mrs Woolnough said.

"Whoever it is it's someone close by who is watching us, they know when we go out, they know when we're looking out the window.

"At first the neighbours thought we were nuts but they have started to see them too so it's not our imagination.

"They have dug holes in a few of the gardens but they are concentrating on ours.

"They are getting closer and closer to the house and I don't know what is coming next, are they going to burgle us?"

Mrs Woolnough said she now feels afraid in her house and every night can hear people digging outside. The couple have since removed most of the trees and bushes in the garden to try and reduce the number of hiding places, but say the groups keep a close look-out and run whenever the Woolnough's move about inside their house.

"I don't feel at all safe any more, I have to keep the windows and doors shut all the time. We never know if someone is out there or not, they get so close to the house and you see them scoot past the window.

"It starts at 8pm and will go on until 4am. This is our house and garden, why should someone be able to come in and take it over and make a mess like this?"

The couple have made emergency calls to the police twice but say they have not taken it seriously.

"The first time they came round but made such a noise the people just ran away, the second time was last week and nobody even bothered to come out. One policeman said it was animals, but what animal carries a spade, shines torches and lifts huge rocks?"

A spokesman for Suffolk police confirmed they had been called to the Woolnough's home and said they would work with the couple to continue investigations.

Do you know what's happening? What do you think they are trying to find? Has your garden been targeted? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter