Yobs target cancer sufferer

A CANCER sufferer says "mindless yobs" are making his life a misery after they ripped down his fence.

Pensioner Terry Topping, who has battled cancer twice, has hit out at youths who congregate outside his quiet end-terraced bungalow in Park Avenue, Blackhall Colliery.

The fence, which surrounds his front garden, was badly damaged at the end of last week and he has called on the authorities to do more to deal with youngsters.

Terry, 69, has lived in the bungalow, which he rents from the Accent group, for two years.

The former miner said: "There was a gang of between six and 10 teenagers hanging about outside my bungalow towards the end of last week and they were pulling little bits off the fence.

"I went outside to beg them to leave it alone but they didn't leave.

"I woke up the next morning and opened the curtains to see the fence had been ripped down.

"I just can't understand why these mindless yobs can't leave things alone. I feel devastated."

Terry lives in the bungalow 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.

Terry added: "These youngsters stand outside the side of our house and have pulled bits off the fence in the past and we have found empty bottles of alcohol in the garden before.

"We go to bed worrying about what might happen. I want the police to do more to move these people on."

A police spokeswoman said: "There is a problem with anti-social behaviour in the Park Avenue area and tackling it has been a local priority in the past.

"We have not received a lot of calls about it recently but if anyone

has any concerns they should call the local officer PC Andy Holland on

0345 6060365 or go along to the monthly Police And Communities Together meetings."

The fence was ripped down some time on Friday, January 7 or early morning Saturday, January 8.

A spokeswoman for Accent said:"Accent staff attend local meetings with the police and other members of the community, including the council, to try and come up with new ways of tackling the anti-social behaviour on this estate.

"We usually complete fence and other routine repairs within one month. However, as Mr Topping's fence has been damaged because of anti-social behaviour, it is classed as urgent and it will be repaired in the next week."