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House of hell - Penryn home boarded up after tenant evicted
6:00am Thursday 19th September 2013 in News
A house in Penryn where its tenant and her visitors’ rowdy, drink and drug-fuelled behaviour made life “a living hell” for her neighbours, has been shut down by a court order.
Kate Martin, aged 39, moved into 36 Permarin Road, two years ago. Since then neighbours have complained about noise, threatening behaviour, abusive language, and parties any time of night or day, with a constant coming and going of visitors who drank to excess and took drugs.
An application for a closure order for her Cornwall Housing-owned home was made to Truro Magistrates by counsel James Taghdissian, acting for the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary.
Behaviour at the property had been violent and rowdy, he said, and had seen drugs used on the premises or people there who were under the influence of drugs making a nuisance of themselves.
Martin was not in court for the hearing, having telephoned to say she was unwell.
Charles Hulley, who had been engaged as her solicitor until a mistake was realised and legal aid was granted in error, said Martin would be made homeless straightaway if the order was made. He asked for an adjournment, but the magistrates were against him.
They heard evidence from two police officers, a neighbourhood enforcement officer from Cornwall Housing, a Penryn Town Council officer and three neighbours to number 36, who said there was disturbance from the premises 24 hours a day, with noise, foul language and fighting in the street.
One said visitors urinated through his fence, his garden gate and left a nearby playground littered with drink cans, needles and evidence of drugs so that children did not go there anymore. Some of the people were distinctive, including one who had a bright blue, 12 inch high Mohican haircut.
A young mother living nearby, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “Life has been a living hell for myself and my five year old son.” She had had to take tablets for her nerves, having lived with shouting and screaming through the night and having threats made to her. “They are smackheads and have left needles about. I don’t want them around my son.” They had been to her door begging for money and trying to sell her stolen goods. She had seen Kate Martin walking unclothed from the waist down.
Margaret Webb, in her seventies, said she kept a diary of the nuisances.
“It has just been a typical nightmare,” she said. “The noise has been terrible. I am afraid to go to bed, I haven’t had any sleep all night sometimes. These people were using awful language and were very frightening and Kate just enjoys all this. She invites them in to do what they like doing best, drinking and up late at night.”
The magistrates heard there had been 29 out of hours calls about what was going on at number 36 and on 55 occasions nuisance diaries had been submitted to the housing authority by local residents. Mr Taghdissian said Martin had made life “one living hell” for people living near her. “She and her visitors just don’t give a damn”.
The order was made for closure for three months. Chairman Roger Cargeeg said they hoped this would give some relief from the anti social behaviour which had been going on in and around number 36.
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