Elderly residents of council house bungalows in Cornwall say they are prisoners in their own homes due to the criminal behaviour of a neighbour who has threatened to kill them.

Paul Lindsay-Jones was caught on CCTV camera making the threats, shouting vile abuse at his neighbours and damaging their property.

Lindsay-Jones, 60, pleaded guilty at Truro Magistrates Court last month to using threatening, abusive and insulting words/behaviour with intent to cause fear and/or provoke unlawful violence

. He was due to be sentenced on Tuesday, October 31 but the case was adjourned until November 9.

The incident in June was caught on camera at The Retreat, a block of bungalows run by Cornwall Council’s Cornwall Housing wing, on Kerley Hill in Chacewater, near Truro.

However, neighbours say it was anything but a one-off. The petrified pensioners were asked to catalogue Lindsay-Jones’ threatening behaviour but were appalled when the council admitted it had lost all the evidence...twice. They are now desperate for the council to move him as they say their lives are being ruined.

We visited The Retreat and it’s plain to see how much his behaviour has ruined his neighbours’ lives. One elderly resident, who has leukaemia, burst into tears as she described how she’s now so scared she barely leaves her home.

The resident whose life has been most affected is Lindsay-Jones’ direct neighbour Diane Harris, 68. She told me: “This has been affecting me a great deal. It’s affected my health, my breathing. I’m afraid to go in my own garden.

"I have to be careful when I go outside. I’m afraid at night-time because he wanders around at night. You don’t know what he’s doing – he’s unpredictable, which makes him very dangerous.

“He’s threatened to kill us. He’s threatened to kill my cats. He’s threatened to kill my neighbours.

"I would like the council to move him because I think he needs help. I think he needs to be in a controlled area where people can make sure he takes his meds.”

The incidents started on a Sunday in May last year when Lindsay-Jones came out of his flat and started calling Diane a “c***” and threatened to kill her and her cats. “God knows what I’d done – I hadn’t done a thing. He kicked all my fence in and smashed all my pots. The police came and absolutely nothing was done,” she said.

“According to the council it’s all in his head and nothing to do with us, but when he’s threatening to kill you it kind of makes it personal!”


Paul Lindsay-Jones captured on CCTV during one of the incidents

Paul Lindsay-Jones captured on CCTV during one of the incidents


“I had to go to the doctor and get diazepam for my nerves and I have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) so I have very bad breathing. I worry because I can’t run and get out of his way in a hurry. We’re stuck – he’s right in the middle of us all. Every day you wake up thinking ‘what’s he going to do today’. You’re forever living on your nerves.”

One of Diane’s neighbours is housebound and the other tenants are all too scared to visit her now as they have to go past Lindsay-Jones’ property to see her. Mentioning that the council lost everything she recorded, following an officer’s suggestion, Diane added: “It doesn’t give you any faith in the system.”

At the far end of The Retreat are Dave and Helena Lawrence, aged 78 and 76, who have lived there for 18 years. “It used to be a lovely place to live, but not any more,” Dave told me. Pointing to his wife, he added: “She’s afraid to go out – she won’t go out in the garden if he’s around. He’s threatened to kill us both.”

Lindsay-Jones can be heard threatening to kill the couple on the CCTV footage which also shows him pushing over their bird table: “He must have given it a fair old pull as it’s on a concrete block,” said Dave. “We were in the garden and I asked him to keep the language down. Helena went inside and then he started banging on the windows, threatening to kill us.

“The police arrived and got a bit of abuse from him. They arrested him and took him away."

Bursting into tears, Helena told me: “He’s unpredictable. I can’t stand him. It’s frightening. I can’t sleep. I’ve got chronic leukaemia so I’m stressed enough. Why did they put him here? No one seems to answer that question.”

“We won’t be at peace until he’s moved. We’re basically prisoners in our own home,” said Dave.


Dave and Helena Lawrence have been on the receiving end of threats

Dave and Helena Lawrence have been on the receiving end of threats


The residents now have support in the form of local Cornwall councillor Dulcie Tudor, who’s appalled that Lindsay-Jones is still living among them despite pleading guilty at court.

She said: “I was alerted to this problem around six months ago and have been trying to get some action, any action, from the council to help the residents going through this nightmare. So far Cornwall Housing have failed to answer my repeated questions."

She added: “Residents were asked to send in a log of incidents – which council officers ‘mislaid’ twice. They were sent CCTV footage; also ‘mislaid’. So why have council officers proactively chosen to not act on complaints for two years?!

“Council housing officers have told me ‘Old people tend to make more fuss’ – that’s shameful. I’ve also been told ‘These people should not worry and go outside in the gardens’. It’s disgraceful that the council is advising elderly people to put themselves in harm’s way.

“They’ve also said ‘This is a separate police matter’. It is not – the council are the landlords with a landlord responsibility to EVERYONE, but so far all the care and safeguarding energies have gone to help the perpetrator of the crimes, Mr Lindsay-Jones.”

She is now fighting for action to be taken by the council, saying: "I believe damage to other people’s property and death threats warrant eviction – and I’ll continue to push for that to happen because while Mr Lindsay-Jones continues to live at such close proximity to other people then his neighbours will remain prisoners in their own homes.”

He was due to be sentenced in Truro on Tuesday but said because he was deaf he could not hear proceedings via video link from another court in Devon, which was hearing the case as the Truro court was too busy. He will now be sentenced on November 9.

Martyn Scott, head of housing management for Cornwall Housing, said: “We are actively involved with the issues being raised and understand the concerns and frustrations of local people – our staff have been supporting residents as much as possible with a variety of actions.

"Whilst we can’t comment on specific details or cases, it’s important for residents to know that when they tell us about anti-social behaviour or neighbourhood issues, we take them seriously and work with all those involved to try to find practical and reasonable solutions.

“We do not condone or tolerate anti-social behaviour and where appropriate we take the necessary action within the legal processes we must follow. This type of work takes time and we realise it can be frustrating for those involved, but we would encourage any resident experiencing issues to report them because we will support you.”

Lindsay-Jones previously hit the headlines when he illegally set up home in Truro’s Moorfield car park in 2018, turning a disabled parking spot into his own private ‘hotel’ room.