For over two years I had listened to repeated verbal and physical abuse directed at children in the flat below mine. This was noted from the time I occupied the premises in May 1996 and was finally reported in May 1998. The great difficulty in hearing something is that there is no direct witness to this abuse, and there must be a solid enough foundation for it to be meaningful. As it was despite what some might consider as a delay, the timing was correct as the activity built up to the point where something needed to be done, but this still led to extensive retaliation and harassment which was coincident with the failure to repair since May 1998. It is very easy for me to see why no one gets involved in reporting abuse. Those who will do this kind of a thing to children will stop at nothing to abuse others. The harassment I have received since has been devastating and when coupled with the management failure was almost annihilating in its double impact.
On Tuesday, 5th May 1998, following a bank holiday weekend of both verbal and physical abuse with threats of the latter verbally delivered to a child, I wrote to the Chief Executive of the Council an extensive narrative faxed letter outlining what had been happening since the prior August 1997 when I had to call the police in another matter as a weapon was taken from an auto in the street below my kitchen window following a verbal altercation and the breaking of glass. The police arrived immediately and took the matter in hand. One of the people turned out to be a relative/friend visitor to the flat below.
This vicious violence was what I had been hearing for over a year by that time in August 1997 and would continue to note for the following year among these people against one another and the children. I took notes of the worst of it. The individual involved in the August 1997 rage incident subsequently was the one who choked one of the small boys on several occasions when the young boy threatened "to tell". This same child came out on the balcony below my front window on several occasions pleading "Help me, please help me" only to be wisked inside promptly. He was living in a state of misery, fear and terror. So I helped him with my letter.
The Council's Chief Executive forwarded my letter to the ********* *********** Social Services on the ***********, and I subsequently met with one of the Social Workers to describe the situation. She decided to forward the information to the police, and I met with them on Friday, 8th May 1998, to give them precise factual information taken directly from my logs which I felt served the police needs better. The police were concerned about visiting the premises as quickly as possible and asked me to let them know as soon as all these people were present. There were a total of four adults and three children with two of the adults and the children living elsewhere but spending considerable time in the flat below mine. At 4:30 pm that same afternoon I called the police to let them know all were present, and the police took the matter from there.
From that time onwards the harassment commenced and built up over the summer as these people had easily determined who had reported their behaviour to the police and Social Services. A detailed letter of this harassment against me was provided to the police in early August 1998 as was continuing information given to the Chief Executives of the ********** and Council. One further serious incident occurred at this time on the evening of 11th August 1998 which was reported to the Social Services at *********** ***********. This involved the very distinct hitting of an infant two times. A couple days later I overheard the tenant below make a direct threat apparently against me that she was "going to get him". Earlier verbal threats in July had included death, physical attack and eviction from the various people associated with the flat below mine at one time or another. At the end of August, I received a letter dated 27th August 1998 from the ********** ********** Social Services where the family including the children actually resided. This letter thanked me and advised me to contact the police in the future if any further incidents occurred.
[NB Quotations and apostrophes have been stripped by the software. When this problem is fixed, they will be restored.]
Date: Monday, 5th May 1998
Fax Nr.: *****************
Pages: 5, including this cover sheet.
From: Gary D Chance
Subject: Child Abuse and Threat of Violence
C O N F I D E N T I A L
In may fax of Friday, 1st May 1998, I referred to an explosive, fourth item. It is explosive due to potential violence and a fourth item I am most reluctant to express due to its serious nature in that it reflects the possible upheaval of family/relationships, namely, physical child abuse.
During my two years residency in this flat, the abuse of a child by the occupant/visitors in the flat below has been persistent and continuous. I have feared at times for not only the safety of the child involved but for his life. I have been in a complete quandary as to how to best deal effectively with this terrible problem due to the management failures and punitive character of the local tenant management, an ignorance of precisely where to go to ensure that it was handled appropriately and deep concern that the abuse I have heard could worsen with reporting.
However, as a result of events this weekend which once again highlight this situation, I bring it to your attention hoping that you can refer it to the proper agency for the delicate and complete investigation it requires. I cannot emphasise how difficult it is for me to bring this situation to light and how carefully I feel it must be handled in the interest of the child concerned. One of my great problems in addressing this problem is that I do not know the people involved which has made it difficult to articulate what goes on and who is responsible because I am not sure that it is the actual tenant(s) of the flat below or visiting relatives on a weekly basis who are directly involved.
The physical abuse of a small boy has continued on an almost weekly basis for the past two years at the weekend. This has been evidenced by the sound of his being physically attacked and his screams and crying. Most relevant has been his screamed pleadings to stop, dont or I wont do it any more. He has come out onto the balcony below on numerous past occasions crying softly help me, please help me. When he has emerged like this, he is quickly taken back inside. The screams from him are so loud as to be heard through the floor from the closed flat.
Some two or three months ago on one Saturday night I heard the most devastating scream imaginable from him that sounded like he was being straggled to death. Afterwards there was silence. I heard no more that night, weekend or for a couple weeks. When I did hear his voice again it had quite a hoarse sound which continued for a couple months at least. I thought that he might have sustained a serious throat injury. I must admit that when it happened I feared for his life. I waited to hear his voice again which I eventually did.
These are largely weekend occurrences and apparently come from his visiting the premises each weekend. A woman who either accompanies him or is resident during these visits screams at him endlessly at the top of her voice. She often threatens him with physical violence saying quite explicitly Im going to hit you like I did before and eventually she does accompanied by his loud screams and crying. This whole process which goes on over and over again each weekend was reinforced in this manner this weekend when on Sunday afternoon, a woman sitting on the balcony underneath my front window said Im going to smack you, **********, you naughty little boy you as he apparently was walking by outside.
The potential violence from these people not only continuously erupts in shouted and screamed verbal and physical abuse directed against this boy but has also erupted out on the ********** and its adjoining ************ Road under my windows. As a result last August (1997) I made an emergency call to the police which turned out to involve the people directly under me. I had heard a loud shouting between two guys one of whom was especially verbally vicious followed by a crash of breaking glass outside. I looked out my kitchen window to see a man removing a piece pipe from this double parked auto. I immediately dialed 999 to summon the police. In a very short time there was an officer present talking with a man outside my front window, but when I looked out my kitchen window the auto and other man had gone. Since the police were there and handling the matter I ignored it and went back to my own activity.
A little while later a womans voice from the balcony below asked a guy outside why did you do that?, and he replied in some manner which I could not hear. I then realised that one of the participants in the altercation, the one who had been talking with the police officer, was from the flat below. I had not realised this at the time I made the call but became acutely aware of it after her discussion with him from the balcony below. I was immediately concerned with retaliation of some sort from them and have been ever since. This particular guy is an apparent visitor to the flat below and is, apparently, [the young child's] father as I have come to recognise his voice. Just as [the young child] is a weekend guest, so is this guy on occasion, but he seems to leave [the young child] here on weekends too.
After this incident when I called the police, my front door bell was rung at odd hours. Especially noted by me was its ringing at 5:00 am on what I recall as a subsequent Sunday morning. I have also seen a black guy and this white guy talking under my front window when my door buzzer had been rung at such an early, Sunday morning hour when it was already light outside in the summer. Thus, my fear of violence and some kind of retribution directed against me personally was reinforced. Not only was the womans verbal violence always evidenced in her tirades against the small boy, but now the guy who was apparently her partner and father of the boy was not only involved in verbal and physical violence himself outside on the ******** but was also possibly involved in directly harassing me as a result. Please understand very carefully that this is separate and distinct harassment from that which has arisen as a result of addressing [tenant] management related to health and safety issues. These harassment events are at different times and activity.
I have never had any dealings with these people who reside either permanently or from time to time in the flat underneath me and have never talked with them at all except on one recent occasion when I happened to enter the front door at the same time as one of the women underneath (the younger one). When she noted I was entering my flat as she was approaching the one below, she spoke to me saying that they never see me and have wondered where the man in the flat above was. I replied stating that I try to be as quiet as possible hoping that she would take the point that they were not quiet at all. I said no more and quickly entered my flat.
For the very first time this weekend, I heard the name of what sounded like the boys father mentioned: it was *********** [spoken] by the woman whose voice I recognise as screaming at the little boy, *********. The pattern of activity is that apparently at least [the young child] comes to stay almost each and every weekend with [his apparent father] staying most weekends too. Nothing wrong with visitors, that is not the problem, and as I said, I know nothing about these people. Further I do not want to know anything about them or their lives. It is none of my business, and I prefer to live and let live as I have far too many of my own problems to solve which require my complete and dedicated effort as I live on very limited resources in trying to solve them. However, the activity of these people below me is of such a nature that I cannot ignore it try as I might for the past two years.
On almost each and every weekend [the young child] arrives, and it is not too long before the screaming at him begins followed by his own screams and what becomes continuous crying. I have inescapably concluded that this woman has so much pent up rage and is so emotionally unstable that it gets vented and expressed against the little boy every few hours over the weekend. This has also involved the man who is apparently the little boys father as his yelling at the boy at the top of his lungs has been evident on a Saturday night. On the one Saturday night in particular several months ago when I thought the little boy was strangled, I thought it was the fathers violence that created this impression. Thus, not only do both these people, most likely the parents of the little boy, violently verbally and physically abuse this boy, but the one whom I take to be the father, **********, also exploded violently outside on the ***********/adjoining road which led to my calling the police.
All of this has occurred against the background of the serious management problems I have brought to your attention. Because the management problems were objectively verifiable and reasonably subject to cure (in some cases quite easily so), they were brought to the **********s and your attention as required. These were also immediate threats to the health and safety of all the tenants and guests who reside or visit the ********** and required immediate attention and cure.
However, because of all the complexities and difficulties associated with addressing and dealing with the issue of the violence of my neighbours and/or guests in the flat below as well as the extraordinary [tenant] management problems which have been extensively and repeatedly brought to your direct attention, this problem has not been immediately addressed. But, as mentioned above, the events of this weekend have brought them to the forefront especially with regard to the safety of the little boy involved.
On Saturday last about 12:30 pm the woman was out below on the balcony and called to *********** [the child's apparent father] who was apparently leaving the ********* outside and referred to the naughty one . . . ********. At approximately 6:45 pm Saturday, 2nd May 1998, I noted the following:
[The child] below is crying and yelling dont. He says I love you but continues crying. This follows a few minutes after she was talking out the balcony to a guy outside [return of the apparent father?]. Hes crying and crying; saying some things I cant really understand or hear very well because hes inside snd its very faint: sounds like he said Dad one time and Help me several times.
At about 3:00 pm on Sunday, 3rd May 1998, both the woman who screams at the little boy frequently and the little boy were out on the balcony below my front window. A group from the flat above came out and began singing:
youll never work again/no, youll never work again with obvious reference to me. The screamer on balcony below my front window calls out to them to be quiet because some people like peace and quiet on Sunday. One of them replies is that you screaming? Making all that noise?
There is a connection here between those who occupy the flat above and those in the flat below mine. I have been reluctant to express anything about this for fear of sounding too paranoid. I have, instead, collected information on items that I thought reflected breaches of confidentiality between the ********* office and possibly these tenants. Although I do not wish to extend this beyond its immediate purpose of addressing the child abuse problem, it did come to light on Sunday as described above and needs to be mentioned.
Those in the flat above apparently have a special connection of some sort with the ********* office and/or its [tenant] management. One of the residents there still freely parks his motorcycle on the ********* proper despite all that we went through last year. Further, during two weeks in March recently, there were continuous all night parties taking place directly above me as well as works/repairs which went on all night. Because I recognised this special connection with the ********* office I felt that it was futile to bring this to their attention and endured it. After two weeks of this continuous all night activity, it stopped. Sunday afternoons interplay between these two tenants from their balconies above and below my front window brought these problems and suspicions into focus.
On Sunday my front door buzzer was sounded at 5:30 am and again at 11:30 pm. This had occurred on the early morning of last weekend on two separate days. Furthermore, my telephone rang two separate times shortly after 1:30 am on Friday, 1st May 1998. It was following this most unusual ringing of my telephone that I wrote you the fax during those early morning hours which was then sent to you at 5:30 am that day. The critical problems which faced me immediately with respect to the [tenant] management and its problems as they resurfaced in connection with the flat underneath had to be brought to your attention once again. It was beyond me to bring up the most serious problem of violence and child abuse I have experienced and witnessed throughout these years at that time in that fax. The immediate problem of reasonable access and repair had to be addressed and taken care of in a rational manner.
Now, however, as the mentioned harassment continues and has become patently obvious even perhaps referring to the content of my fax to you on Friday last, I have to bring this all to your attention immediately as apparently the child continues to suffer, and I am subject to direct and now more explicit harassment which disturbs my health and well being in extreme circumstances where there is an immediate danger of personal injury and possibly a health threat to my life.
There are some other key points about the abused child which must be brought to your attention in this representation. On one occasion I heard the child ask whom I thought was his father as they approached the inside front door below of their flat: Whats his name? And, the older male voice replied Gary. Now, thats my name. It could be coincidental or not. I have heard what I thought was the child, ********, coming out onto the balcony and calling my name after that. I even thought that he came to my front door once trying to say my name but only said G ..., G ... a few times. I have heard him screaming underneath Ill tell, Ill tell . . . when he is crying and screaming against his abuse. I do not know what this means. It sounds very much to me like he wanted to tell me about his abuse. I thought about the fact that I had called the police last August concerning the violence his father engaged in outside and wondered if the child thought that I might also do the same thing in his case. This is, of course, complete speculation, but when he came out onto the balcony and said what sounded like my name, it was the same way he had said on earlier occasions help me, please help me. On those occasions he had come out and made these pleas very quietly only to be removed by an adult from inside who heard him.
I believe that this child has been subject to repeated and extensive verbal and physical abuse by those adults who either reside or visit the flat below me. It has been continuous and repeats itself almost every week during his and their visits. It has gotten progressively worse up to this past winter/spring when he sounded like he was seriously strangled and had a hoarse voice for months. This has all occurred against the backdrop of extreme management problems on the ********* and the failure to protect tenant health and safety in the most fundamental areas of rubbish facilities, security and vehicle operation on the **********s footpaths in front of the building. I have seen the people from the flat below place their rubbish on the floor by the rubbish chute at the front door; they also leave their rubbish outside their front door at night; and the resident from the flat above continues to park his motorcycle off the road and on the ********** proper in front of the building.
The harassment I have experienced has been complex and related to all these events. That is why I have never detailed it until the few items mentioned herein. It is the result of a general, overall management problem and failure to properly grasp and effectively resolve these threats to the tenants as a whole. The great failure is that when I brought these to your attention last year, you completely failed to get complete and detailed information from me so that you could effectively resolve the problem in the interest of good and objective management. Instead, you sent the complaint to the [tenant management] whose whitewash and coverup you supported. You failed to discharge your obligation on behalf of the Council to properly and fully investigate the issues and reach a conclusion which reflected the truth of the situation and implemented effective resolutions.
Instead, I have continued to suffer personal damages of an extreme kind which have put my health and safety at risk and now resulted in an immediate threat to my health and well being. Although I am at an extreme with respect to the damages and personal injuries sustained as a result of my residency in the premises, it is still possible to mitigate those damages and injuries at this point to some extent if not completely. Therefore, I call upon you to address this problem at the Council level by means of a full and fair review of all the facts and to reach recommendations and implement actions which will cure the conclusions reached by such an investigative review.
It is most critical to act in such a manner that the objective truth is obtained consistent with events and peoples behaviour and that the physical, mental and emotional well being of the child called ********** who is a weekend visitor to the flat below is protected and preserved. The management problems at this *********** and in this area of it in particular has been punitive in character, and I call upon you to personally intervene to stop this immediately so that myself and the majority of the tenants can get on with the quiet enjoyment of their life. I trust that you will also by now stop and listen to what people say when they bring problems to your attention and respect the confidentiality of what is communicated to you.
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Gary D Chance
Gary D Chance
Thursday, 6th August 1998
PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
Why This Comes to Your Attention
Firstly, I have given this a lot of thought in light of some recent events and decided to let you know my additional thoughts on the matter you dealt with last May. The problem is that this is circumstantial, and I have no direct evidence for my suspicions. Thus, they are just suspicions, but I believe that several things make it worthwhile communicating this to you now.
Secondly, the choice of why this should come to you and not the beat officer here is threefold: 1) you know the people involved, so it will be unnecessary to redo a lot of that work; 2) as I explained in our meeting on 8th May, the ********* Office leaks like a sieve because this is a Tenant Management Environment, and everything gets out; and 3) there are children involved.
There is no confidentiality which I have witnessed more than once. The most important incident involved a major crime (rape) which I witnessed almost two years ago and called the police at that time. Subsequent to that the following Spring, it became known that I had witnessed such a crime. Immediately, those I suspected as being involved took steps to hide it. Just a few months later I saw something that further confirmed my suspicions although by then the other suspected object (an automobile) had disappeared. At the time when the crime was reported, the then beat officer had gone to the *********** Office instead of dealing with me directly. This made me sceptical of any information I might give to the police. Even if just a question is asked in this environment of this ***********, it can alert someone who might be involved.
Thus, I am passing along this information to you since it should go to the police now if it has any value; you know the people involved so that many questions can already be answered; and perhaps confidentiality can be protected if the information is incomplete until such time as it can be substantiated if at all.
Basic Suspicion and Confirmation at the End of Your 8th May Visit
I have always been suspicious of the activity of the people underneath with regard to involvement in drugs and/or stolen goods. I have heard goods being shifted in and out across the balcony in the early morning hours on such days as Sunday. Although Flat ********* is on the second floor, the ground slant makes it easy to reach access to this balcony from the ground out front. As you know, it is right next to ************** Road. I have also heard very quiet but distinct work going on below in the middle of the night (1:00 am). Both of these things have led me to be suspicious of a temporary repository for stolen goods and even perhaps a drug factory although I must admit that this latter boggles my mind, but that is the suspicion that has been aroused long before our meeting and your subsequent actions of last May.
In our last telephone conversation you made the point that I probably heard everything that went on during your visit on the evening of 8th May to the flat below ***********. I said that I had not heard anything, and that was true. The only time I heard something was when a womans voice became elevated (it sounded like the younger one) who said I am calm, mate! Other than that I heard absolutely nothing and did not want to as it was really none of my business.
However, it was quite obvious to me when you left. I was laying down to go to sleep some time after 10:00 pm when there was this tremendous eruption of voices. It was like a boom, but one very loud and distinct voice said When they walked through the door . . .. This was cut off immediately, and the remainder was spoken in a lower voice although I thought it sounded like she was saying I thought it was all over or words to that effect. The one who said this was, I think, the younger woman whom I call the screamer because she is prone to emotional outbursts and screams a great deal. It was obvious to me at that time that there was something else of far more significant proportions [than child abuse] about which she thought you had arrived. It confirmed for me my suspicions of other major activity, but I still had nothing that was directly useful. I could only wait and keep my eyes and ears open as I have in the past.
Harassment and Intimidation Directly Associated with the Woman Tenant in [The Flat] Below
A great deal has happened over the past three months since then as I have been the brunt of direct harassment from this group of people ostensibly involving the failure to repair a seepage in my balcony which causes water to seep into the flat below during a rain storm. This actually has turned out to be a drain pipe leak from inside the pipe at its base on my balcony floor. This has caused no end of grief during an exceptionally difficult period for me, and the [tenant] management has failed to repair it so far in over three months despite the fact that this is an outside building repair and accessible at any time by a ladder from the front of the building. They have scheduled repairs/inspections for times when I had medical appointments and failed to show up at others.
It has been an enormous problem for which the tenant below blames me and has harassed me. Further, apparent allegations have been made by this woman against me in connection with my attempts to place a piece of plastic over the balcony to protect it from rainfall and any further seepage. I was accused of dumping water over the side of the balcony. This was not true (and impossible for me to do with the plastic in the way), and the repairs could have been effected at any time which have not been done to date. In fact, the balcony was put into a greater state of disrepair on Friday, 5th June 1998, and left like that since. Thats why I put in the protective plastic cloths on the following Friday, 12th June 1998. These were removed on 23rd/24th July 1998 in order to eliminate any further false harassment accusations from her against me.
The most important bit of recent harassment occurred a week ago just before 1:00 am on Sunday night/Monday morning, 26th/27th July.
Sometime before midnight (an hour or so before that time) on Sunday night, 26th July 1998, there was a group of voices outside the building. The most prominent was that of very unusual cackling laughter that is clearly associated with the women Tenant in Flat **********. She has this most distinctive laugh which is completely unique and unmistakable. This went on for a very long time even perhaps as long as an hour or an hour and a half. The cackling laughter was continuous amid the sound of several accented male voices. The accents were West Indian which I took for Jamaican.
At about 25 minutes before 1:00 am early Monday morning, 27th July 1998, these voices moved into the building. The cackling laughter continued amid the clear sound of West Indian accented males. The sound of the voices came this way and ended up very close to my door, but in looking out I could not see anyone. This group of people remained stationery in very near proximity to my front door with the males repeating several times Come on out, mon. Each time this was said the cackling laughter from the Tenant in Flat ********* would burst out. Finally, they moved away, and the sound of their voices disappeared into a muffled noise. I assumed they had entered a flat. When I moved back to my living room, I could hear the faint sound of their voices coming through my window either from a flat or outside.
This was the worst kind of intimidation imaginable as it identified thugs with unfamiliar voices and such distinct accents that they were not associated with any tenants I have heard who live here. I assumed these were thugs brought into the building by the Tenant in Flat ********* to harass, intimidate and perhaps provoke me. This action fell into the context of a similar pattern of what had occurred in June and July. My association of these accents was with that of Yardies. The cackling laughter of the older woman, the actual Tenant in ********** I believe, was so continuous and covered such a long period of time that I thought she was stoned. Thus, I equated this event to drug usage and a group of people intimately associated with the drug trade and wondered if I had not disrupted their drug business at bottom which led to this type of intimidation and threat.
11th June 1998 - 6:45 pm: Slamming of door below several times. Woman screaming outside (unintelligible) but she does say come out and fight several times. This goes on until a male comes out and brings her back inside. I took this to be the woman from Flat ********* below due to the slamming of doors beforehand and the sound of her voice.
This earlier event and a similar one which occurred about the same time was in regard to the problem of the balcony repair. However, the attitude and actions are the same as displayed on the recent Monday morning described above only now there were imported thugs substituted and saying essentially the same thing to great laughter from her.
Death and Physical Assault Threats
In early July there were two more events of similar character but of a most direct threat each of which I associated with [the apparent father of the young child]:
4th July 1998 - 11:15 am: Guy outside yells you leave her alone; Im going to kill you if I get my hands on you, you [obscenity]. This male sounded just like the voice of [the apparent father of the young child], a relative of the Flat ********** Tenant, who comes here at about this time on Saturdays to leave at least one child here by the name of ********** as has been noted in earlier communications to you.
8th July 1998 - 7:25 pm: Sound of Honker outside followed by a guy with a black accent shouting Ill tear you into a million pieces . . . among other things which I could not understand. My kitchen light was on as I was cooking so it was clear that I was here. [The apparent father of the young child], the relative of the Flat ******** Tenant, honks his horn continuously many times a day upon daily arrival at the ********** from *************** Road as this is the end of the building at that road. I assumed that this was [the father of the young child] and someone with him who, upon seeing my light, let out another string of verbally threatening statements to physically threaten me after having just threatened to kill me four days earlier.
Harassment Brought to *********s Attention with Immediate Negative Tenant Reaction
These incidents and an outline of the whole period were communicated to the Chief Executive of the ********* (******** *********** ************) by fax on Thursday, 23rd July 1998. You are welcome to a copy of this fax if you think its essential. The reaction was almost immediate the following day and weekend culminating in the Yardie incident described above.
About 3:00 pm on Friday, 24th July 1998, the tenant or the tenants non-resident relative [her daughter] returned to that flat and slammed the door as hard as possible no less than 16 times. This was followed by muffled screams from below at periodic intervals from a younger female voice whom I suspected to be the ********* Tenants relative [daughter]. Apparently she was yelling at her son, **********, and blaming him for what had happened: Its all your fault, I heard her scream. The dog underneath barked continuously as it does when I think hes protesting [child] abuse.
The following day about 7:00 pm on Saturday evening, 25th July 1998, when I started taking a bath, all of the people in Flat ********* quite literally went berserk. When the bath water was running (and I was in the tub), shouting and banging on the wall underneath my bathroom started with several very loud door slams. Next I heard what I thought was the younger womans voice yelling outside and assumed it was directed at me, but I could not understand what was being said as I was in the bathtub with the water running. This was followed by a continuous banging of a door and operating the door lock. Later about 7:40 pm a male voice was shouting from outside something about . . . coming at 3:00 am as there were shouts back and forth between at least two male voices outside. I took this to be the relative of the Tenant in Flat ******* by the name of **********.
This was an almost instantaneous emotional reaction in the extreme which culminated the next night in the Yardie episode noted above. It was all out of proportion with regard to the balcony repair, and I believe reflected a much deeper upset and fear of threat from my actions in trying to address the harassment properly. When the Yardie episode occurred, it confirmed in my own mind all that I had suspected but still was only circumstantial with no substantive information.
This also blended in with my experience in terms of their alleged child abuse and the actions and words which I have already conveyed to you. Again, this is another reason for passing along this information to you as you will be aware of this history already having seen my comments and investigated it directly with the people involved and can put it in perspective from your point of view.
Suspicions Reflected in Past Incidents, Rage and Current Threat
I have concluded that all four of these people with the possible exception of the older male are emotional disturbed to the point of being viciously violent and most certainly will engage in constant and consistent anti-social behaviour. This has now been directed at me personally in the most vehement manner possible without doing me any direct physical harm, yet.
My suspicions also tie in with both the treatment of [the young child] and what I have overheard him say in the past. There is no doubt in my mind that he has been both verbally and physically abused. Apparently in trying to stop this abuse earlier this year, he said on numerous occasions Ill tell. What is it that he was threatening them with? You will recall the incident also earlier this year where I thought that [the young child] was throttled quite severely one night after which someone came to the balcony door to check to see if anyone was outside who might have heard. It is a distinct possibility that his threats to tell were met by being strangled as showing what would happen to him if he did especially if my suspicions are true, and they are involved in drugs and/or stolen property about which he threatened to tell.
You will recall that ************ was the reason I called the police last August because he blew up outside and smashed something although I did not know who it was when I called the police. The responding officer then talked with him for a few minutes outside my window, and later the younger woman on the balcony below asked him Why did you do that?. This was an emotional explosion of rage of which he is capable. He has exploded like this against [the young child] and now me at least verbally. I believe that he is dangerous and fear for my safety now.
Conspiracy to Harass and Means of Transportation
There are two more items that I think are relevant: 1) the network of associations here between these people and certain other tenants; and 2) the possible use of a baby stroller to carry drugs around.
In the first situation they have quite obviously orchestrated the tenants against me on the ostensible basis of my stopping the balcony repair and the false accusation against me neither of which are true. The balcony can be repaired from outside with access at anytime but has not been done for reasons left entirely with the *********s management. I have never engaged in any conduct whatsoever against the tenant in Flat **********. Quite the contrary is true as I have acted to preserve and protect the premises by means of a plastic protective cloth put up at my own expense and initiative.
I encountered whom I believed to be both *********** and the younger woman (always with her baby stroller) from below emerge from Flat *************** on this floor after I heard them urging him to cooperate so that . . . maybe he can learn a lesson from this. I walked right into them as they were leaving and looked him straight in the eye, but he averted his head quickly as soon as he saw and recognised me. The tenant in *********** has always been a suspect character as either a drug user or dealer. He is always drunk, always has a can a beer in his hand and constantly plays music very loudly day and night. Again although tied to the balcony repair issue, I believe that this runs much, much deeper, and I am interferring in something that affects each of these people and others as well.
The younger woman (whenever I have seen her infrequently over these past two years) has always been pushing a baby stroller which is usually loaded down with goods, and I have always wondered why the stroller was always loaded (and I mean full). I would have thought that I might have seen it empty on occasion, but I never have on the times I have seen it over these two plus years (and almost not at all in recent months since the end of last year). I was very suspicious that she was a courier hauling something around all the time.
Emotional Character Consistent with Drug Use and Threat to Children
Finally, the emotional character of these people and their extremes leads me to believe that drugs are involved. Drug users, I have read, especially crack users are subject to violent explosions and physical attack. You might recall that not too long ago (at least for me anyway) Dennis Weaver (he used to play Chester to Gunsmokes Matt Dillon) portrayed the full cycle of a cocaine user in a film devoted to this subject, and he ended up emotionally strung out at the end. This is also the kind of extreme behaviour I would expect from people who are both drug users and involved in drug traffic, and it would be characteristic of such emotional outbursts and extreme threats to come from a drug user whose source of revenue in obtaining these drugs is threatened. I would also certainly expect it from a drug dealer whose activity is threatened in some way which is why the Yardie threatening presence is so ominous in the overall context of this. In a word, I would say that all these people are strung out and on an emotional precipice.
This is where my great concern for the children comes in. Not only are they at risk from direct verbal and physical abuse of the kind that Ive suspected has occurred and documented as best I could, but they could very well be involved in a drug culture and are growing up in one.
My Position on Drugs, Conclusion and Personal Circumstances
Let me say at this point that I have never had anything to do with drugs and am totally against them in any way. I dont even drink tea or coffee to avoid caffeine let alone smoke (nicotine) although I do like the odd pint on occasion but have not had anything to drink for years resulting from my inability to afford the odd pint . . . . I have always considered drugs to be the foundation of the crime problem in these recent decades when social usage has mushroomed. In completely avoiding drugs, my social life, such as it is (or was), has always suffered as I will not associate with anyone whom I know takes drugs. But, the worst part of it is that it creates a large criminal class which thrives on society at large. Thus, I have always been on the watch for drug usage and activity and feel that I saw both of those a week ago Monday at almost 1:00 am in the morning when I thought the woman tenant from ********** was stoned so much that she could not stop laughing and brought her Yardie thug friends along to intimidate me to halt my interference with her drug business. This is the overall conclusion that I have reached given these events of extreme character that are way out of proportion for a seepage during rain storms that even the [tenant] management is apparently not overly concerned to repair promptly.
I would like to add one more comment about my personal situation during all of this: 1) during June a biopsy proved to be malignant; and 2) I have been suffering from double vision (diplopia) and have been examined and treated for this during all of this activity. I am a former cancer patient (survivor) following surgery for a malignant melanoma. Although statistically cured, I do suffer from lymph oedema (a swelling in my right arm which is caused by the absence of lymph nodes), and I usually take two baths a day just to soak and soften the tissue in hopes of keeping it from getting worse which it has been in the past. This is a potentially crippling problem if not properly cared for. Thus, the recent episode of harassment whilst taking a bath was especially upsetting.
I have been under examination by a physician during almost the past two years at ********** ************ Hospital Dermatology Clinic with seven biopsies taken over this period. They all proved to be benign except the last one on 2nd June 1998 which proved to be malignant although non-invasive. The diplopia was referred to my GP on 17th April 1998 (just days before the balcony business started), and she referred me to *********** Eye Hospital. I had visited my GP on the morning of our 8th May meeting in regard to this matter you might recall. At present there is a suspected nerve palsy which could be caused by malignant cells in the nerve (lesion) or non-specific trauma or stress (which looks more likely). I have been fitted with prism glasses at present to correct the symptoms of double vision temporarily whilst the cause, if possible, is being ascertained. If it is non-specific trauma (stress), the harassment by all parties concerned could not only be disabling but also critically so as it affects my eyes and any hope of regaining employment from my current situation. The lymph oedema is also affected by stress as is the possibility of recurrence of cancer. Thus, the extraordinary stress of this harassment situation (completely without any foundation whatsoever) could be life threatening as well. So you see that dealing with the harassment issue is critically important for me in terms of my well-being and life itself.
Harassment Stepped Up After ********* *********** Fax of 23rd July 1998
After I sent the fax to ************ *************, the *************s Chief Executive, on 23rd July 1998, I never received a reply from him. Instead, I got the harassment already described plus an increased ongoing daily dose of continuous petty disruptions. As a result, the entire matter was once again referred to ******** **********, Chief Executive of the [Council], in his capacity with regard to overall responsibility for managing the organisations which manage this **********. Although the Council has contracted out the management process, it cannot contract out responsibility. Since this situation is so serious in its failures and in its potential threat to my health and my life, he has been informed one more time because I have heard nothing from ********** ************* nor has any balcony repair been affected.
However, I believe there is a much more important and deeper issue involved here that falls within the jurisdiction of the police and more specifically within your area. Of course, you can always send this off to others in the police department about whom I would not know which is another reason for sending it along to you as you have a better grasp of the situation in order to do that properly. This other criminal dimension is something I do not wish to communicate to the Council because it will fall into the ********** Office immediately and get right back to the tenants involved, so I am sending this along to you for proper, confidential handling realising that it is still just a suspicion based upon circumstances. But, I think the circumstances are now powerful enough themselves and importantly so in the context of the overall situation as to merit your scrutiny if nothing more than to be fully informed about this situation so that you can keep track of it as you see fit.
Gary D Chance
PS I have worked very carefully with this letter and, as always, thoughts continue to come up. Instead of trying to add these to the text after it was already written and break its flow, I have added them as endnotes which you will note as you read the letter.
[NB These are absent from this text at present]