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This isn't home, it's a war zone :'(

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  • This isn't home, it's a war zone :'(

    Hi everyone,

    Where do I start?...I'm living next to a bully, a pitch-fork welding, cat stabbing loon - how's that?

    About 6 months ago I moved into an ex. local authority flat, as a private tenant. It's not a particularly nice flat, but it's cheap and my plan was to use the money I was saving on rent towards a deposit for a flat of my own - but these things rarely go according to plan.

    My neighbour first introduced himself by knocking on the door and saying "You have 2 domestic cats!" - to which I replied "erm...yes...?". It kind of went down hill from there.

    My neighbour, a single man in his 50's, living in a council estate studio flat, likes to feed stray cats. We share a communal garden, and I don't really have a problem with this, but apparently he does...

    One night, about a month ago, at 10.30pm there was a loud thumping on my patio doors. I thought it was someone trying to break in, so got a bit nervous. It didn't stop, so finally I plucked up the courage to pull back the curtain and see who was there. It was my neighbour. Apparently one of my cats had eaten some chicken he'd left out for a stray cat. I apologised, but said there wasn't much I could do as it's a little difficult to reason with cats. I suggested that if the chicken was for a particular cat, he might like to feed that cat inside his home. He didn't seem impressed, but left it at that.

    Anyway, to cut a long story short, about a week later, he started banging on the patio door again. This time my boyfriend was in the flat with me. He went out to see what the problem was. My neighbour threatened to "fu*K him, me and the 2 cats up", then tried to stab my boyfriend 3 times with a pitch fork. The same evening he tried to stab my 2 cats with a pair of garden shears - I keep them in a lot more now.

    The police weren't much help - saying that as no-one was hurt it was a public order offence, and to arrest someone over that, it had to be witnessed by a PC. I called the council, and they seemed more helpful, until that is, they spoke to my neighbour who told them I was a heroin user - they haven't been so helpful since. Incidentally I don't use any drugs, let alone heroin!

    Anyway, since then I've had notes through the door, shouted threats through the letter box late at night and on Friday my neighbour tried to break into my flat. He always does this when I'm there on my own, confirming my suspicions that he's been doing the peeping tom bit.

    Anyway, Friday night, he started thumping and kicking my patio doors trying to get in. I called 999 and the police were there straight away. Again though, they said it was a public order offence and couldn't arrest him. Though he did manage to get the "she's only upset because she's a druggie" remark.

    He was knocking again yesterday...and basically I can't go on like this. I'm looking for a new flat, but in the meantime I'm going through hell....did I mention the maggots through the letter box and that he tried to stab the last tennant with a bread knife?...

    Anyway, any advice, or just shared experiences would be really useful.


    You go to Heaven once you've been to Hell" - Leonard Cohen, 'Paper Thin Hotel' - here's hoping he's right...

  • #2

    You should not have to put up with this!

    firstly you need to log down everything, and I mean everything,

    write down every threat, bang, noise and peeping bit. there are some logs you can use on the front of this site (main site under resources)

    you need to contact the local community police officer and tell him/her about this behaviour and you are being harrassed and threatened.

    instist they visit you, and telll your local station that you might need to ring in an emergancy,

    Scooby: can you pass on that human right stuff again can take that to the police and they must help you.

    Once you have done this I would advise you to write to the council housing office and tell them you are afraid for your saftey and your pets, if you start recording everything you can give them the log as well, dont forget times and dates and how it effected you.

    Personally I would also contact the RSPCA for advice, by doing this you are pretty muched covered if he makes a counter claim against you, and I am afraid that NFH do make these claims.

    As far as I know threatening behaviour with a weapon is not a civil matter.

    you need to really fight this one, it will be hard work but you will win!

    come back and let us know how it goes.


    • #3

      BTW, I know its nasty need to keep stuff put through the door for the police man, if it was petrol they would have to respond so maggots and other ickies should be the same


      • #4
        Hi AB and welcome to the board.

        I'm horrified!! Your neighbour sounds like a very dangerous man. I don't know what the police are thinking of (probably an easy life), but this man is committing serious offences against you.

        Scooby will tell you all about the 1997 Freedom from Harassment Act, which her local police have used against her NFH and subsequently two other members have enlightened their local forces to this Act. You can go to and read it. Maybe you could download and print it and take it to your local police station This act has been used against stalkers but it covers threats to yourself, so don't let the police fob you off. If you can't get any satisfaction from your local station, write to the Chief Constable. Also impress upon them that you are NOT a drug user. Not that it should make any difference anyway.

        Also, as Beth says, record everything and keep those notes he's posting as evidence. The man is a menace to you and your pets. I'll bet he tells everybody what a wonderful person he is, feeding stray cats, but forgets to mention his murderous attempts on your cats.

        Does he bother any of your other neighbours? It would good if you could get some others on your side althought it's not a necessity.

        Good luck AB, come back often and let us know how things are going. If you need to rant there's a handy ranters folder. You will get a lot of sympathy and advice here. Take care.

        "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


        • #5
          So who polices the public order offences then? Hey lets all go out and do similar offences - it's only a public order offence - no one bothers about that. Absolutely ridiculous.

          Perhaps the law is - you're to give him the key to your flat so he can kill your cats in the warmth of your home?

          Hi Amelia, really sorry to hear about your problems, others will come in with good advice and help, all I can offer is support and (anger!) at this toerag who plagues your life. I find it incredible that nothing could be done when this **** tried to break into your home.

          It seems that neighbour problems are treated as domestic violence used to be treated "Oh it's only a domestic, best not to get involved".

          Only advice I can offer is to get a surveillance camera. They're not as expensive as you might think.

          I'm off to threaten someone under the public order act - and just who is going to stop me? Well not the law for a start.

          Spinkysay - soon to change that name.


          • #6
            Thanks for the support. I know it's unreasonable for this man to act the way he is, sadly I don't think he knows that.

            As I mentioned in my first post, at first the council were very much of the opinion that this man needed the help of social services, but after he had an interview with them about his behaviour. and told them my boyfriend had attacked him (a total lie), and that I was a junkie, they seemed less interested in helping me. Even to the point of telling me they don't want to get involved.

            I was phoning the police 3 times a week at one stage - just after the whole pitch fork thing. But it didn't really get me anywhere. I even tried to go to the press in an attempt to speed the police up, but the press just told me this kind of thing happens every day and they couldn't get a story out of it.

            You're right though, I do need to start logging everything he does. It's so horrible though, having to live like this - in constant fear.
            You go to Heaven once you've been to Hell" - Leonard Cohen, 'Paper Thin Hotel' - here's hoping he's right...


            • #7
              So the police do nothing and the council don't want to get involved? Lovely country we're living in isn't it?

              Other people will know more, but what about your MP?

              ... I was thinking the same Misty - everyone probably thinking what a nice bloke, feeding the stray cats...


              • #8
                I'm pestering the police & the council as much as I can. I think the comment about them just wanting an easy life was pretty accurate though.

                I've just e-mailed the council's estate manager telling him in no uncertain terms how afraid I am. He says he's going to write to my neighbour, but I'm not holding my breath about how effective it'll be.

                It's so tempting to just go round to my neighbour's with some mates and threaten him, but s*d's law I'd get arrested for that. So for now I'm staying within the limits of the law.

                Re. what the rest of the community think of him - I'm not 100% sure. This is London so neighbours tend to avoid each other as a rule. I know the previous occupant of my flat was threatened by my neighbour with a bread knife, but he had a police record so didn't pursue the matter. I have heard my neighbour talking to another bloke outside my front door saying what a weird drug addict I was, so chances are he's all sunshine and roses to them and pitch forks and fists with me :-(

                Thanks for all your help though. I'll definitely read those human rights pieces, etc. Might even go to my MP, but I've heard he's a bit pants too.

                I'm starting to think the only way out is to move. I hate to run away from a bully, but some fights just aren't worth fighting.

                What's other people's experiences? Have mad neighbours just suddenly stopped? Is it possible to just wake up one day and not have an insane neighbour?
                You go to Heaven once you've been to Hell" - Leonard Cohen, 'Paper Thin Hotel' - here's hoping he's right...


                • #9
                  Originally posted by AB.@Apr 28 2003, 4:19 PM

                  It's so tempting to just go round to my neighbour's with some mates and threaten him, but s*d's law I'd get arrested for that. So for now I'm staying within the limits of the law.
                  DON'T DO IT!!

                  never ever give them anything that will come back to you.

                  you need to play it by the rules and be whiter than white in your responses to this person.

                  I am sure you would't really get your mates around though it is always tempting.

                  keep cool and that will annoy him more than anything


                  • #10
                    Hi AB,

                    Sorry - I'm usually late for these things cause I don't log on until after 6pm.

                    I am with Badger on the point that words are not printable to put down here what we really think.

                    I totally understand where you are coming from. My NFH - Madhatter - has come round onto our property using all manner of weapons and even using words such as I'm going to kill you' but it didn't seem to hold much water with the Police at that time.

                    Having said all that you have a dire need here to have an order in place to prevent this from happening. I am just going to type here what it actually states and then I shall go onto what it means.

                    The Protection From Harassment Act 1997 made it a criminal offence to make another person fear that violence will be used against them. It also made it an offence to cause harassment to somebody, for example by 'stalking'. Those who commit the more serious offence of making someone fear violence can receive a fine and/or up to five years imprisonment. Those who cause harassment can receive a fine and/or up to six months imprisonment.

                    The bones of it is once this order is in place, if your NFH kicks off you call the Police they come around, arrest him and place him before the courts. There is no getting away from this and no hiding place to climb into. The weight of the law will be on your side. You have a clear case here for this PFH Act 1997 to be placed on your NFH.

                    I can understand your complete terror on this, but, your only resort is like Badger says - go back to the police and ask them to enforce this. This man is clearly dangerous and a menace to society. You have to do something NOW Whatever happens don't leave it, it is only going to get a whole lot worse.


                    • #11
                      P.S. Amelia,

                      You asked the point that :-

                      What's other people's experiences? Have mad neighbours just suddenly stopped? Is it possible to just wake up one day and not have an insane neighbour?

                      The point about mad neighbours being stopped - the word I use now is is 'subdued'. It doesn't stop them - for sure nothing will if they are determined enough - but, it does make them think and for a while they become I suppose the word is WARY.

                      Yes it is perfectly possible to wake up next to an insane neighbour, until our neighbour started working nights which triggered off his psychotic state he was okay. Then one day he wasn't.

                      The only way that you are not going to have an insane neighbour is either :-

                      A They get locked up in prison

                      B They Move

                      C You Move

                      D They Drop Dead

                      E They get sectioned under the mental health act

                      It's not what you want to hear, but from now on you are going to have to start learning to digest the truth - it will be the only forward in your progression to getting rid of this total loon


                      • #12
                        thanks Scoobs,

                        knew you had the act down to a tee!!

                        hope it helps AB.


                        • #13
                          Dear AB

                          Sheeesh! How horrible this must be for you.

                          We moved away from a 'nasty nutters' situation. Incidently a third family has just put their house on the market to scape our old nfh's. It was quite an upheaval as we have children and lots of bits & bobs & we did like our old place otherwise. However, we like our new place too and now we've got our lives back.

                          Point I'm making is moving is ok. It could take years/ forever for you to get the blockages removed that seem to prevent the criminal justice system from upholding the law and your rights in your area. Even if you 'win' and he gets 6months, would you want to stay there?

                          Personally, I would prefer to hear of how you turned the system round to working for you and achieved a victory. You don't owe me that though.

                          Have you tried Victim Support?

                          The heroin slur struck a chord. Has he also said you're cruel to your cats by any chance? If you had kids perhaps he'd try & claim you were abusing them. Nothing too imaginative or nice.

                          One thing that gets me with these nasty nutcases. How come they're not quite so nutty that they don't know what sort of counterallegations to make to win the authorities over? Our nfh's boasted of 'bent' police mates, and the way they could turn complaints back around was absurd. Five neighbouring households complaining, largely about the nfh's attitudes towards small children, made no difference to them. grrrr. Sorry, I'm ranting on me own thread now.

                          I had just over two years of it. I still get the odd rage. Get out while you can, that's my advice. Let him fester while you get your life back.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AB.@Apr 28 2003, 2:22 PM

                            Hi everyone,

                            Where do I start?...I'm living next to a bully, a pitch-fork welding, cat stabbing loon - how's that?
                            Hi Amelia

                            Welcome to the NFH Message board, glad to have you with us. You've had loads and loads of great replies, so I won't double up any of the advice so far given.

                   think you've seen every NFH situation until you read a new post, yours is no exception. Your NFH sounds like an extremely unstable and vicious individual. He claims to care for cats (e.g. by leaving chicken out), yet he openly admits and attempts to hurt them. I think the RSPSCA would be able to advise you definitely as Beth has mentioned already.

                            Typical NFH tactics - blame the victim, we see this so often, yet it seems to unfortunately cloud the issue sometimes, especially where the police, council's etc are concerned.

                            Actual threatening behaviour is a criminal offence whether it's carried out or not - you've only got to look at the NFH News Section ( ) to see loads of examples there. Your NFH is a nasty, bullying, and dangerous individual, you were very right to contact the police via 999, always look after yourself.

                            I know you'll get loads of support on the forum and I hope it helps you and you come back often


                            • #15

                              I just had a thought. Buy a dictaphone. They're only around a tenner if you get an offer, or twenty maximum, for an adequate one. There's your evidence for threats through the letterbox.

                              Don't give the police the original though, they could end up 'losing' it if their inaction leaves them liable for a negligence claim (which must be made within 12 months by the way).

                              Sorry to take a "do this do that" tone. Much menacing nfh giving out slurs and counterallegations, police inaction... I have been there and I do feel for you. The sooner this situation ends the better. Counselling may end up being required (I was studying part-time and got this through the college student services, if that's any help).

                              In our experience the police can be very obstinate about accepting they could be mistaken, and showed a bizarre tolerance for crimes against the person (pensioner punching, breastfeeding mother attacking, infant abusing and threatening) committed by the party they favoured. If you have any luck winning them round then we'd be very eager to hear how you did it.

                              Good luck. Protect yourself. Don't go wiring your letterbox to the mains, innocent parties could get hurt.