Barwell youths 'target' woman

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Three teenagers have been accused of a campaign of harassment against a woman in the street where Fiona Pilkington was targeted, later killing herself and her daughter.

Fiona Pilkington, 38, killed herself in October 2007, when she set her car ablaze in a lay-by while she and her disabled daughter Francecca Hardwick, 18, sat inside.

An inquest into their deaths in September last year heard the family, including Ms Pilkington's severely dyslexic son Anthony, suffered more than 10 years of abuse from a gang of teenagers on Bardon Road in Barwell, Leicestershire.

Today Carol Sainsbury, 46, told Hinckley Magistrates' Court she was harassed by Billie-Joe Kenney, 19, and two boys aged 16 and 17, at her semi-detached home on the same road over a period of three months.

Ms Sainsbury, a carer, said the three were part of a larger gang of teenagers who played "banging" music, swore loudly, swung on her fence panels and made obscene hand gestures outside the council-owned house she shared with her partner.

She said the two youths, who cannot be named for legal reasons, played "banging, thumping music" on an almost daily basis, sometimes until 11pm and became abusive when asked to turn it down.

Kenney, of Elwell Avenue, Barwell, was often present but his involvement was "never as abusive as the others", Ms Sainsbury said.

She said: "We'd get the wanker signs through the window, they'd laugh at you, they do find it funny.

"When it's late and they are banging and clattering about people don't want it, I don't want it.

"My kids when they were younger, they were in bed by 7pm, they weren't allowed to roam around in the street causing harassment to other people."

She added: "They know they are annoying so they carry on. We only want a quiet life. I don't mean silent by quiet, just minimal would have been nice.

"I don't sit and rest easy at night anymore, I am sitting on edge."

John Hallissey, defending the two youngest defendants, suggested to Ms Sainsbury that her complaints coincided with press coverage of Ms Pilkington's inquest which may have "consciously or unconsciously" affected her interpretation of the boys' behaviour.

She rebutted the suggestion, adding: "I didn't even know Fiona Pilkington.

"It is nothing to do with the Fiona Pilkington case, you should leave her alone now and let her rest."

Ms Sainsbury, who suffers from fibromyalgia, a condition similar to multiple sclerosis, said the alleged harassment had left her "exhausted" and unable to sleep properly.

All three defendants deny eight counts of harassment between September 1 and October 7 last year.