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COURT BANS 'NEIGHBOUR FROM HELL' FROM HER HOME TOWN

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A mother of five who put her neighbours 'through hell' has been banned from her entire home town, reported the Sund...
A mother of five who put her neighbours 'through hell' has been banned from her entire home town, reported the Sunday Express (p7).

Families refused to let their children play in gardens near the house of Anne-Marie Doolan, 38, because of her constant swearing. She threatened to set her dogs on people and even told one neighbour she would burn his home down.

It is believed to be the first time a court has taken action to exclude an individual from a whole town for anti-social behaviour.

She faces up to five years in jail if she breaks the ban, which will remain in force for life. Police will serve the order on her today. It means she cannot return to Biddulph in Staffordshire to visit her GP, dentists or friends and family, despite having been born and lived there all her life. She is also barred from buying or renting property in the town, which covers a two by three mile area and has a population of 20,000 people.

Mrs Doolan, who has denied the allegations against her, was evicted from her home in May but continued to harass local people. Chris Mountford, community safety officer at Staffordshire Moorlands DC, said the extent of the anti-social behaviour order was 'extremely significant'.

He commented: 'Mrs Doolan's behaviour has been very unpleasant for her neighbours and the residents of Biddulph. There's been lots of shouting and swearing and intimidation. One neighbour in particular was subjected to abuse every time he stepped outside his front door but many other people felt intimidated as well'.

She is now believed to be living 12 miles away from Biddulph in Burslem. She was given a two-year order in 2001 banning her from abusing locals but it expired in may. The council applied for a further ASBO following allegations that she had continued to harass neighbours in Biddulph.

However, civil liberties campaigners claimed the action was too severe. Mark Littlewood, from Liberty, said: 'This goes far beyond the restriction of freedom that would be placed on some of Britain's wor st convicted criminals on release from prison. It would make more sense for criminal charges to be brought against her if there are any grounds, rather than tearing her away from her roots'.

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