A couple of drug addicts who made life a misery for residents in a Kidderminster street have been forced out of their home after police successfully won a court order preventing them from staying there.
The actions of Louise McLeod-Finch and Clint Hubble were so bad that one young family moved away to escape them, town magistrates heard.
The pair were this afternoon seen off from 155 Park Street by Kidderminster police officers after an order was granted under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act prohibiting anyone from living there for three months.
The news brought huge relief to neighbours, who said the couple had made life hell for local people, with drug taking, dealing and fighting in the street a common occurrence. One neighbour said it would be “such a relief” to see the back of them, while another said:
“We’ll be celebrating if they have gone for good.”
Police intervened after a wave of complaints about the behaviour of the couple.
The couple, who both had convictions for drugs offences, were private tenants and ignored requests to leave from the landlord, the court heard.
Jason Woodman, representing West Mercia Police’s legal services, told magistrates there had been a catalogue of calls to police from members of the public since Christmas.
These included claims of fights in the street, including one incident with samurai swords; overt drug dealing; a strong smell of cannabis from the property; arson and theft.
“Since taking up residence the tenants have allowed drug taking and dealing to take place at the address and have caused criminal and anti social behaviour that has blighted people’s lives.”
Mr Woodman added: “Both are very well known to the police. They have created lots of concern and upset in the neighbourhood.”
One family were so disturbed by their activity that they had felt they had no choice but to move out, at a considerable financial loss. “They felt the burden on them was too great.”
Nearby residents were too concerned about possible reprisals to give direct evidence, but police had kept a log of calls and complaints which showed the extent of the problem.
The property was served with a closure order on July 31, inviting the tenants and landlord to attend the court hearing if they wished to contest the order. The case was heard in their absence.
Magistrates listened to evidence before granting the order prohibiting anyone from accessing the premises for three months, which effectively prevents the couple returning to 155 Park Street. If they do so they can be arrested and risk imprisonment. The order was granted after magistrates accepted there was a real risk that without it there would be an “occurrence, reoccurence or continuation” of disorderly, offensive or anti-social behaviour on the premises.
Speaking after the hearing, Mr Woodman confirmed the police used these particular powers rarely and it was a last resort when the impact of a household was felt by the whole community.
In a potentially disappointing twist, the couple were observed moving their belongings into another property on Park Street, but police believe this is a temporary measure while they seek somewhere else to live.