[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 27 January 2006, 08:11 GMT
'My tormentor posted me excrement '
Thelma Etim
BBC News, Slough

Peter Maijahd
Maijahd posted excrement through neighbours' doors
She coped with his continuous verbal abuse, intimidation and repeated revving of his car engine outside her Berkshire home.

She even managed to cope with her inconsiderate neighbour's loud music by moving her bed into the kitchen, the room farthest from his lounge.

But when she returned from work to find her tormentor of four years had shoved human excrement through her letter box, Miriam began contemplating suicide.

It was the final straw and it almost broke the 46-year-old's resolve which, until then, had been stoical throughout Peter Maijahd's campaign of harassment.

I took a few steps forward and shouted: 'Oh, my God, there's poo'. I just freaked out

The 37-year-old is now serving a five-month prison sentence after breaching an anti-social behaviour injunction (Asbi).

His daily incoherent ranting, repeated foot stomping, door slamming, along with banging weights on the floor day and night, had blighted her life in Slough, Berkshire.

"I walked in through the front door and I thought I could smell something strange," explained Miriam - not her real name.

"I took a few steps forward and shouted: 'Oh, my God, there's poo'. I just freaked out.

"It was awful, it took me ages to disinfect everything - I spent days cleaning my flat with bleach and I now cannot bear to stand in that area.

"I can remember crying on the telephone to the police and thinking about killing myself."

I rarely smiled and although I held it together for work, I turned into a blubbering mess at home

Slough Borough Council issued her with a letterbox guard following that day in August 2004, only two months after she and Maijahd attended a council mediation meeting.

The situation had become so deplorable for Miriam, who lived in a flat above him in Cippenham, that she would go to great lengths to avoid going home after work.

"His music was so amplified it was like living inside a nightclub 24/7 - the bass sound reverberated around my flat," she said.

"I always wore ear plugs from the minute I entered my flat.

"I began watching two films back-to-back at the cinema , spending more time at the gym and sitting in my car in any car park for hours to avoid confrontations with him.

"My family said my personality had changed - I rarely smiled and although I held it together for work, I turned into a blubbering mess at home."

asbo agreement
Councils have taken action against 100,000 anti-social behaviour cases

Slough Borough Council, who said Maijahd had threatened and racially abused its staff, has now applied to have him banned from the road and surrounding areas until 2008, and has also begun eviction proceedings against him.

He was sentenced on 13 January and jailed five days later. He did not attend the hearing but was found guilty of breaching his Asbi - a civil order used to try to control behaviour within social housing rather than move the problem elsewhere.

Miriam's advice to anyone being targeted by an abusive neighbour: "Believe in yourself - you have every right to live a normal life as you want to.

"Your quality of life is no less important than the person who is harassing you.

"It has been really horrendous, I do not know how I survived all of this."


SEE ALSO:
Excrement neighbour may be banned
23 Jan 06 |  Berkshire
'Respect tsar' lays down the law
17 Jan 06 |  UK Politics
Mothers join anti-yobs campaign
17 Jan 06 |  England
Eviction threat in 'respect' plan
10 Jan 06 |  UK Politics


RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific