A NIGHTMARE neighbour who made residents’ lives a misery has been kicked out of her flat.
Tenants at Windsor House in Canal Walk, Landport, Portsmouth, were subjected to 10 months of hell at the hands of Oona McMahon.
Now the 50-year-old is barred from the privately-owned flat for three months after police and Portsmouth City Council obtained a court order under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act.
PC Andy Sparshott, from Charles Dickens West Safer Neighbourhoods Team, said: ‘We appreciate that these issues affect people’s quality of life and they are issues that are important to the public for the police to deal with. That is why the robust action was taken on this occasion and as result we seized control of the premises.’
Problems at the flat rented by McMahon, 50, started early last year and went from bad to worse. The flat was trashed and police say drunks and the homeless flocked there, sleeping in communal areas. Windows were smashed, blood smeared across walls and people defecated in communal areas.
PC Sparshott said: ‘It was noise nuisance with late parties and residents were complaining to Portsmouth City Council and the police, but then the frequency of the calls to the police increased and a pattern started. There was criminal damage to the building, assaults against visitors to the flat and in the communal areas, there was defecation in the communal areas, people drunk, sleeping in the gardens and in the corridors.
‘There were a number of residents with children who were having to see this on a daily basis. The flat itself had been completely trashed and the fire alarm had been broken. Blood had been smeared on the walls.
‘The issues with the residents were all alcohol-related. Within five days of us approaching the council, we were in court and we had the premises closure. We were overjoyed.’
Roy Goulding, anti-social behaviour unit manager at the city council, said: ‘In a number of cases we have been able to prevent having to go to court and close properties down because we have been able to offer support and work with landlords to stop problems from continuing.
‘However in cases whereby residents or landlords won’t engage we will robustly take enforcement action to protect residents from suffering these types of behaviour.’
RESIDENTS KEPT DIARIES
POLICE have praised residents at Windsor House for their help in gathering evidence against Oona McMahon.
Tenants kept diaries of trouble at the block and some gave statements despite fearing repercussions.
PC Sparshott said: ‘They were given diaries to record dates and times and descriptions of what they had seen and heard. As a result of that some of the residents went that stage further and provided evidential statements which were then used as part of the application for the closure.
He added: ‘That in itself was difficult for residents because they were fearful of being identified.
‘We fully appreciate the issues that the residents have gone through and the difficulties of having these things happen on their doorstep and thank them for having the confidence to come forward and assist the police.’