Thugs target law-abiding mother

FRIGHTENED mother Donna Finch is scared to go to sleep because she fears young thugs will set fire to her house.She worries for the safety of her three children, one who has cerebral palsy, after youths in the Ravenswood are of Ipswich continually attack her house and shout insults at her and her family.

FRIGHTENED mother Donna Finch is scared to go to sleep because she fears young thugs will set fire to her house.

She worries for the safety of her three children, one who has cerebral palsy, after youths in the Ravenswood are of Ipswich continually attack her house and shout insults at her and her family.

But she refuses to lie down in the face of the horrific intimidation which she suffers just because she is a law-abiding citizen.

In the last two years yobs have set her father's car on fire, killed her pet rabbit, thrown dog mess at her front door and smashed windows at her house on five occasions.

Two weeks ago she went with her family to Felixstowe and when she returned she found someone had used a pellet gun to fire holes in one of her windows and a door.

Ms Finch, 29, of Lindbergh Road, Ipswich, has three children, Robert, ten, Daniel, four and 16-month-old Aaliyah who has had cerebral palsy since she was born.

Most Read

Ms Finch, a single mother, has lived in the area for three years but the problem has become worse in the last two years. She has even had to install two smoke alarms because she fears she could be a victim of an arson attack. She said: "It is a nightmare living here. I have all three children in bed with me and I don't leave them on their own. At night I am just scared. You are lying there thinking 'are they going to set alight to your house' and that is a horrible feeling.

"For the last two years we have lived a life of hell and something has got to be done because it is getting worse."

Her children have been bullied by cruel youths, some as young as eight, who hurl abuse at them.

Even Aaliyah is called names and Ms Finch admits she wants to hit the people who shout insults at her disabled child.

Ms Finch said: "I had just put my daughter in the car, when a girl of about 11 or 12 said 'go on you fat cow, get in there with your spastic daughter'."

She thinks she is being targeted because she is willing to stand up to the criminals, but believes there are a lot of decent people in that area.

"It is like the mafia with the gangs," said Ms Finch. "All we can do is see if you can catch them. If I see anything going on I report it to the police.

She feels it is time something was done about the lawless society in parts of east Ipswich that are terrifying people in that area.

"I have been called a grass, a tart and a whore because I am protecting my property. There is a lot of good people up there, but they are frightened."

Anne Green, a representative from CHAMP, a physiotheraphy group organised by Ipswich Hospital, witnessed what the family goes through when she paid a visit to the house to see Aaliyah.

She said: "In January, while I was visiting the family, there was an incident when a group of children and teenagers subjected the family to persistent throwing of snowballs at the front window of the house, until a window was broken. Rubbish was also thrown into Ms Finch's back garden by a group of youths.

"Ms finch was very distressed by these incidents. She was obviously frightened and when the window was broken, became inconsolable."

Ms Finch's father Colin Lane also gets shouted at by youths when he visits his daughter.

He said: "All we get is a lot of abuse and they just insult you. You have to grin and bare it like Donna does, but they cannot have any feelings to call her the names they do."

A police spokeswoman revealed Ms Finch had last reported an incident at the end of June where a window had been damaged.

The spokeswoman added: "A house to house enquiry has been carried out. Anyone who sees anyone acting suspiciously or committing criminal damage is asked to contact Ipswich Police Station on 01473 613500 straight away. All reported incidents are taken seriously and will be investigated."

N What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.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