A gran has been hailed a community hero after standing up to yobs – and winning. Disabled widow Joan Lowden, 61, was harassed, assaulted and threatened by a couple living next door.
A gran has been hailed a community hero after standing up to yobs – and winning.
Disabled widow Joan Lowden, 61, was harassed, assaulted and threatened by a couple living next door.
The former nurse said Amanda Hurley and her boyfriend Wayne Foster put her through a ‘living hell’ with a campaign of abuse that started with drinking sessions and loud music, but within months escalated to taunts and threats.
Many of her neighbours suffered too and Joan, from Macclesfield, even considered taking her own life as the problems became so severe.
But, thanks to her, housing association Regenda took Hurley and Foster, both 45, to county court and had them banned from entering Macclesfield for two years. Now Joan, from Hurdsfield, has been shortlisted for a national award.
She said: "It was very difficult and very stressful. But at the end of the day I love where I live and I am very happy here. I may be a widow and use a wheelchair but I am not a victim.
"I didn’t do this for the limelight, I did it for my own sanity and for my community."
Joan has lived in Garden Close for six years since the death of her husband Iain.
She said her problems began two years ago when Hurley moved next door and began playing loud music and holding drinking sessions in her home.
She said events escalated with threatening behaviour towards her and other neighbours.
Joan said: "I was so afraid of them I would hide in the kitchen. I came very close to taking my own life. I was literally counting the pills when something stopped me. I realised at that moment I had to fight back."
Joan kept a diary of events and agreed to give evidence in court. In June, Regenda got a civil injunction banning the pair from contacting Joan and her neighbours. But Foster and Hurley ignored the order so in August were banned from the town until June 2014.
Duncan Thomasson-Khan, Regenda’s tenancy enforcement officer, nominated Joan for a Social Landlord Crime and Nuisance Group Award. He said: "Without Joan’s bravery we would not have had the evidence we needed. Despite all the threats and intimidation, Joan was determined to see this through."