TERRIFIED neighbours can breathe a sigh of relief after a drug-peddling mum was booted out of her home after more than a year of violence, nuisance and mayhem.
Months after being told to leave her three-bedroom maisonette Lucy Mitchell finally left yesterday after police were forced to get a 28-day closure order from the courts.
Neighbours were ‘living in fear’ and too scared to let their children play in a shared play area as Mitchell welcomed into her home a stream of county lines drug gangsters, wanted violent criminals, bedraggled addicts and child couriers hiding heroin and crack cocaine in their underwear.
Scenes of violence repeatedly erupted over nearly 18 months, with armed men brandishing samurai swords threatening people outside 37-year-old Mitchell’s home on one day, and a gang attack on a man inside on another.
One resident, who gave evidence anonymously, said: ‘I just hate living here and want to get out, it used to be a lovely place to live.’
Another said the fights, dealing and screaming were ‘making life uncomfortable’.
At court yesterday afternoon PC Dan McGarrigle told Portsmouth magistrates of a chronology of woe stretching from March last year when three men were caught with class A drugs and cash, to Monday night with ‘screaming and shouting’ at 10.30pm.
Mum-of-three Mitchell ‘openly admitted she had been smoking crack and heroin’ when police visited her at home.
‘We believe that Lucy is involved in drug supply to the community and that county lines gang members have been using her address,’ PC McGarrigle said.
Just minutes after magistrates granted the order PC McGarrigle, from Hampshire police’s anti-social behaviour team, was with officers and city council workers in Watts Road, Buckland, as Mitchell packed her possessions into her parents’ waiting car – ending months of misery.
PC McGarrigle said: ‘This address was causing a detrimental effect to the community, some residents were in fear living in their own homes due to the violent behaviour and drug misuse they had witnessed connected to the address.’
Nuisance that caused havoc at Buckland home
MISERY plagued the lives of people living near a home used by transient drug dealers.
City council proceedings to evict Lucy Mitchell, 37, started after her involvement in class A drug supply came to light in March last year - with police hot on the trail of anyone linked.
Magistrates yesterday heard a man wanted for a stabbing in Surrey was found at Mitchell’s home.
On November 6 last year a well-known addict living at 87 Watts Road with Mitchell was spotted doing a drug deal near the maisonette.
By November 21 men were banging on the property’s door in an incident thought to have been drug-linked violence.
‘Gang attacking men with weapons’
Then in the new year, on January 14, a ‘group of males were attacking another male with weapons’ inside the home, with one waving a knife. Mitchell told police she had been pushed.
A month later on February 19 a table was chucked and one of the legs thrown at someone in the home.
Then on March 4 a group of men armed with extendable batons and a knife tried to attack another man at nearby Peggotty House, fleeing the scene. One man identified was staying at Mitchell’s home.
Missing child found at addict’s home
In April, three people were spotted leaving and were stopped by police - with one found to have drugs. Police arrived at Mitchell’s upper-floor home just as an addict did.
Police also found a 16-year-old child who had been reported missing from London. The child had drugs in their underwear.
When officers returned the next day on April 9 they found a person arrested the day before back at the property.
‘Lucy seemed completely disinterested in the seriousness of the incidents at her property and seemed under the influence of drugs,' PC Dan McGarrigle said.
‘Terrible crash’ as man hiding jumps on cabinet
Police went on to seize an axe.
A day later police returned and heard a ‘terrible crash’ as a man hiding in the loft climbed on to a cabinet that collapsed.
Late in April Mitchell called 999 when drug dealers tried to burst into her home. A month later on May 25 police were told men ‘were outside and two were waving samurai swords threatening to beat and stab the occupants’.
Child running away from police had key to home
In June a 16-year-old boy spotted with a drug addict in an alleyway was chased by police – and found to have a key to Mitchell’s home.
PC McGarrigle said: ‘I hope that those residents can now enjoy their lives not being victims of anti-social behaviour.
‘This closure demonstrates that the police and council work in partnership and will take positive action against those causing anti-social behaviour.’