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Neighbours speak out about ‘nightmare’ anti-social behaviour

PUBLISHED: 14:54 27 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:26 27 April 2018

The boarded up flat in Barford Road, Sheringham. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

The boarded up flat in Barford Road, Sheringham. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Archant

Neighbours of a man whose catalogue of anti-social behaviour led to him being forced out of his Sheringham flat have spoken out about the impact living “in the middle of a nightmare” has had on their lives.

The boarded up flat in Barford Road, Sheringham. Photo: KAREN BETHELLThe boarded up flat in Barford Road, Sheringham. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Paul Still, who lived in a Victory Housing Trust flat in Barford Road, near the town centre, began causing problems for his neighbours shortly after moving to the property six years ago.

Despite repeated warnings from North Norfolk District Council, and a criminal conviction for breaching a noise abatement order, Still’s anti-social behaviour continued to worsen.

Rubbish left outside the boarded up flat in Barford Road, Sheringham. Photo: KAREN BETHELLRubbish left outside the boarded up flat in Barford Road, Sheringham. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Having exhausted their options, the council, which had previously been granted three warrants to remove music equipment from Still, issued and executed a closure order in partnership with Victory Housing Trust and police this week.

But, while the flat is now boarded up and cannot be accessed by anyone other than Victory staff for the next three months, the impact of Still’s behaviour is still being felt.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, has lived in Barford Road for 30 years.

She said that after she complained to Still, he put on “incredibly” loud rave music, which he left switched on while he was out and played through the night until as early as 6am.

She also claimed he lit bonfires, smashed three of the five windows in his flat, and begun cutting away mortar from the outside walls using an angle grinder.

“I’ve been verbally abused, it has affected my health and I don’t feel like this is my home any more as I still feel like I can hear him,” she said. “I don’t feel bitter or angry, I just feel sad, as no matter how much you read about other people going through this sort of thing, you have no idea until it happens to you – it’s been a nightmare, the worst experience of my life.”

Another neighbour, who also asked not to be named, said her health had deteriorated as a result of Still’s behaviour.

“It was so stressful, I couldn’t sleep and had headaches,” she explained. “But now he has gone, I feel so much better; it’s so nice to have some peace and quiet and to be able to hear the birds singing.”

Both neighbours praised North Norfolk District Council, which, they said, had taken swift action once the closure notice had been served.

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