Pensioner 'feared' for his life

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

A BALLYWARD pensioner who recently moved to Banbridge says he "feared for his life" after receiving ongoing intimidation and a death threat from neighbours.
The 73-year-old man moved into the Limewood area on the Scarva Road in early June.
Wishing to remain anonymous, the man spoke emotionally to The Outlook about his recent ordeal which has left him visibly shaken.
The man, who had lived in the country all his life, said he was reassured by a Banbridge-based estate agent the home he was moving into was "quiet and would give him no bother".
However, the devoted Christian, who does various charity work, says trouble started for him just a number of days after he moved into the part-furnished Limewood property.
The man says he had moved to Banbridge looking for a quiet residence in his later years of life.
He added: "Residents from nearby in the development called to my house and started to make a nuisance out of themselves.
“They initially did so by asking me for money and cigarettes. When I said no because it was against my beliefs, the trouble began to get more serious.
“They soon started to throw stones at my car and also kicked balls against it causing damage.
“I tried to avoid them and they were also intimidating by doing things such as rapping my door."
The Ballyward man says the intimidation escalated on Monday night (17 July).
He explained: "They stoned my car and scraped it causing nearly 3,000 worth of damage, that has recently been estimated by a car body repair garage. The car will not be fixed and it is irreparable."
“When they were stoning the car they were shouting foul language as I watched from the top bedroom window."
The man said he felt too afraid at the time of the incident to ring the police but he made contact with them the following morning.
He says the residents were then spoken to by police the next day, Tuesday (18 July) and it was not long after this the man received a death threat.
He said: "I was threatened by the man who said if I did not leave my house he would burn my car out.
“The woman then said she would not only burn my car out, but also my house and that I would be inside it at the time, as they claimed they had done the same before and they used foul language at the time.
“I felt totally terrified and I really had to flee for my life. I just got into my car and gathered my essential possessions and had to leave the remaining furniture there."
The man says he was in such a panic to leave his house that he nearly hit another car when driving through Banbridge.
He continued: "I then went to the police and told them what had happened and that I had been given a death threat. I am totally traumatised by what has happened and I really did fear for my life."
The man has since relocated to live elsewhere and claims he is at least 10,000 out of pocket since his ordeal began earlier this summer.
Meanwhile a spokesperson from the PSNI said police have charged a 40-year-old man and a 43-year-old woman with threats to damage property and intimidation.
They are expected to appear before Banbridge Magistrates' Court on Thursday, 10 August in connection with an incident in the Limewood area of Banbridge on Tuesday (18 July).


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