‘Vandals could have killed my grandson’

NILALM110815B1 - Paul Fletcher by the broken window at his daughters house in Kirk Hallam
NILALM110815B1 - Paul Fletcher by the broken window at his daughters house in Kirk Hallam

MINDLESS thugs smashed a for sale sign through a Kirk Hallam window this weekend, which landed where a two-month-old baby would have been sitting five minutes later.

Paula Fletcher, 34, was pushing her son Jack in his pram back to their home when a friend walking to meet her saw the damage the gang of youths had done and ran to tell her.

Paula’s dad Paul, 57, has blasted the gangs of teenagers, which he says plague Queen Elizabeth Way, where the vandals struck at about 11.20pm on Friday.

“The spike from the for sale sign was resting on his chair where the baby sits all the time.

“I could have lost my grandson. Paula was frightened to death thinking what could have happened.”

The mother-of-four was due to go on holiday the following day with Jack and her other children aged 16, 13 and eight, but had to delay it until Sunday while she cleared up the mess the thugs left.

Neighbours heard a smash and saw a gang of two boys and two girls, walking away from Paula’s house and called the police. No arrests have been made.

The street has been the site of a number of violent attacks and incidents of anti-social behaviour over the past few months leading residents to sign a petition for better CCTV coverage.

A police spokesman said an incident in which a wing mirror was ripped off a car and a dent made to its roof on the same street on Friday night was being linked to the incident at Paula’s home.

Paul, who is writing to Erewash MP Jessica Lee about the problem, added: “It’s a bad area. They need more CCTV and the police are doing nothing.”

But Insp Nick Daines of Ilkeston police said more officers were on the beat but the problem in Kirk Hallam was no worse than other areas.

“It’s a neighbourhood policing priority and we have had additional patrols in the area,” he said.

“In common with an awful lot of areas with shops like this, which become magnets for youths, people will congregate there. Some of them are involved in anti-social behaviour and on occasions criminal behaviour.”

He said the jailing of Vincent Foster, 18, of Queen Elizabeth Way, for nine months following a string of violent, drugs-related and anti-social behaviour offences was an example of the work they were doing to catch ‘key troublemakers’ and get them off the streets.