Asbo was a sledgehammer to crack a nut for Georgina

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It’s not that unusual to read a report of someone being given an Asbo for being a nuisance neighbour.

In fact, they crop up in the pages of The News relatively often.

But what’s unusual about the story on our front page today is the age of the recipient.

Georgina Sims was not a 17-year-old tearaway causing trouble, or a petty crook like many given Asbos.

She was 87 when she received the interim measure from Gosport Borough Council.

And while Georgina’s daughter Bev is the first to admit her mum was making a racket, this was mainly down to her suffering a breakdown brought on by tinnitus.

We would question whether in this case the council used a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

Of course there was a problem – you only have to read the testimony of the neighbours.

Chris and Tony Adams said their lives were a living hell and the noise made them ill.

And yes, as the council said, it did make substantial efforts to resolve the problem another way.

It liaised with the police and health agencies and tried to encourage the family to intervene in a bid to stop Mrs Sims making the noise.

But even so, there has to be a better way to deal with a problem like this than using the frankly blunt tool that is the Asbo.

Once it became clear that health was an issue it should have been obvious that pursuing this course of action was a hiding to nothing.

Yes, something had to be done, but why couldn’t Mrs Sims get the treatment she so clearly needed rather than this punishment?

In the end, the Asbo was withdrawn when Mrs Sims moved, but no doubt it was a stressful time for both her and the neighbours who were caught up in this situation.

We only hope that all the agencies involved in the process learned lessons that they can take forward and improve on should anything like this happen again.