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Six arrested as trouble flares on council estate

SIX people were arrested by police after a "mini-riot'' broke out on a Clayton-le-Moors council estate.

SIX people were arrested by police after a "mini-riot'' broke out on a Clayton-le-Moors council estate.

Trouble flared when a large group of young people marched on the home of a residents' leader, who had called for some of them to be evicted from their council houses.

One terrified resident estimated that a gang of around 25 youths went on the rampage in Alexandra Close. It is understood the flashpoint came when a man living in one of the flats received a warning letter from Hyndburn Council.

The local authority acted after Mrs Annette Beard, chairman of the newly-formed Oakenshaw Residents' Association, had publicly called on housing staff to sort out young tenants in the close who, she claimed, had been guilty of anti-social behaviour.

She accused three new tenants of spending every day drinking, playing loud music and abusing other residents when they complained about the noise.

Some of the youths who took to the streets descended on the home of Mrs Beard who herself lives in Alexandra Close.

She said that during the ensuing fighting outside her home her son Stuart was punched in the mouth and her daughter Maxine, 38, was hit on the nose with a bottle.

Maxine escaped serious injury while Stuart 18, was treated for his injuries at Blackburn Royal Infirmary before being allowed home.

Mrs Beard said: "The young man who received the eviction order, whose name I have never known, also threatened me but he did not harm me.''

In a letter to the Observer, Mr D Entwistle of Oxford Avenue, Clayton, said his daughter saw residents spat at, stones thrown at windows and a case of indecent exposure during the disturbance.

Sergeant Dave Reddin, of Great Harwood Police, said that one his officers tried to arrest a youth and was punched by the boy's mother.

One person arrested appeared in court this week. Of the other people arrested, two women and two men have been cautioned by police and another man was released without charge.

Mr Nigel Fenton, a principal housing officer at Hyndburn Council, said: "The council is aware of problems on Alexandra Close and has begun legal proceedings against a number of people in relation to neighbour nuisance."

'Loud music' man swung a vacuum cleaner round in row with neighbours

A MAN struck a woman on the leg with a vacuum cleaner during a neighbours' dispute, a court heard.

Graham Walden, 21, ended up being arrested by police following an argument between neighbours which arose following the playing of loud music, Miss Claire Fanning, prosecuting, told Hyndburn magistrates.

Miss Fanning described how Walden became involved in an argument with Annette Beard outside her home in Alexandra Close, Clayton-le-Moors.

She said: " Mrs Beard believed that some of the defendants' friends had assaulted her son.

"Walden then went back inside his flat and picked up a vacuum cleaner. He came back out and started to swing the vacuum cleaner round and struck her daughter Maxine Beard on the leg.''

Mr Elliot Taylforth, defending, said his client had only armed himself with the vacuum cleaner after Maxine Beard threatened to use an iron bar on him.

He said that Walden had moved into a flat on Alexandra Close near to the Beards. Mr Taylforth said: "It was his first place of his own and he had a few parties and admits that he may have played loud music on more than one occasion. But after this he has tried to keep the music down.''

He said that on the night of the confrontation someone else had been playing loud music. Walden, who has been staying with his mother in Lancaster Drive, Clayton, since the incident last week, now wanted his landlords to give him a transfer away from Alexandra Close, the magistrates heard.

He was fined £60 with £30 costs after admitting using threatening behaviour.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist