Living in terror after 'booby trap' attack

AFTER more than a year of torment, 65-year-old Ann Hayward has decided it is time to take a stand.

In the early hours of Monday morning, while it was still dark, she and her husband John were enjoying a walk near their home at the Seagulls Estate in Tweed Heads West when they both suddenly tripped face first into the bitumen.

Someone had strung a temporary fencing tightly across the road as a "booby trap" and the couple were the unlucky victims.

Mrs Hayward, who now has four stitches in her upper lip, bruising on her face and torso, plus a hairline fracture at the top of one of her teeth, knew instantly who she thought was responsible. "There is an element of uncontrollable delinquents that live in Riviera Street," Mrs Hayward said. "I've had problems with these kids for 12 months...they're running amok."

Mrs Hayward said the "booby trap" showed the youths were going to the next level.

"It's time that they were made accountable.. I want them to know we won't take any more of it," she said.

"This, as far as I'm concerned, has gone over the line."

Mr and Mrs Hayward alleged the youths had terrorised the neighbourhood with break and enters, vandalism, theft and scant respect for private property.

"These kids have to be stopped. People see them coming and close their windows because they don't know what they might do."

The youths are even accused of breaking bottles in the sand where kids play on the banks of the river.

Paul Filippi, a 70-year-old neighbour of the Haywards said the youths would break into his house's power box while he was out and shut off the power.

They also wait until his wife is home alone and pelt the roof to harass her.

"We shouldn't have to live in terror," he said. "How far will they go?"

The Harrises have contacted police, who told them there is already an armful of reports on the youths.

Mrs Hayward, who will eat through a straw for six weeks, said she was glad an older person had not tripped on the trap.

"I just find it has come to the point where these kids have to be made accountable," she said.

"They think they can go into anyone's property, vandalising what they like and destroying what they like."

Mr and Mrs Harris said they were expecting reprisals after going to the press, but were hoping their stand could see the end of the intimidation.

They said they would be attending the Neighbourhood Watch meeting on Monday night to talk about the problem.

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