Yobs target cancer sufferer again

YOBS have targeted the home of a cancer sufferer for a second time just days after he appealed for them to stop making his life a misery.

Pensioner Terry Topping, who has battled cancer twice, appeared in the Mail after a gang of yobs damaged the fence surrounding his quiet end-terraced bungalow.

But before the fence had even been fixed by housing bosses the 69-year-old's brick gate-post was badly damaged.

The latest incident has left the former miner feeling "targeted" by yobs.

Terry, who has lived in the bungalow, which he rents from the Accent group, for two years, said: "I could not believe it when I opened my curtains to find the gate-post had been damaged.

"It has left us feeling really upset and I just can't understand it.

"The fence hadn't even been fixed from the first time yet someone has come along and done this. I feel as though we are being targeted and it has left us feeling devastated."

A spokeswoman for the Accent Housing group said: "We are very sorry to hear Mr Topping's property has once again been vandalised. As we have on every other occasion that damage has been done, and in line with our policies, we will repair it as a matter of urgency within seven days.

"We attend local meetings with the police and other members of the community, including the council, to try to tackle the anti-social behaviour on this estate which has become a priority, but success depends on everyone in the community.

"We would ask all residents to be vigilant and let us or the police know if they see anyone committing anti-social behaviour."

She added that they spoke with the local Police Community Support Officer on Friday afternoon to discuss what can be done to prevent any further damage.

Terry lives in the bungalow in Park Avenue, Blackhall Colliery, with partner Sylvia Dance, 72, a retired cook.

He had part of his bowel removed in 1996 after being diagnosed with bowel cancer and received treatment at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

Then in 2007 he was diagnosed with throat cancer and had a section of his throat removed and a voice box installed at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

He is still required to go to hospital every four months for check-ups.

The fence was ripped down some time on Friday, January 7, or early morning Saturday, January 8, while the brick gate-post was damaged on the evening of Thursday, January 13.

Mr Topping's fence was fixed last Friday morning.

A Durham Police spokeswoman confirmed the incident had been reported and urged anyone with concerns about anti-social behaviour in the area to call the local officer PC Andy Holland on 0345 6060365.