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Thugs torment disabled woman

PAULINE STEPHENSON: "I have now had enough"
PAULINE STEPHENSON: "I have now had enough"

A BLIND woman listened helplessly as four thugs beat up her son after kicking in her front door.

Pauline Stephenson, 59, is now living in fear and feels like she cannot leave her house in Dunkirk Drive, Chatham.

The mother of three said: "I'm frightened to go out and I feel like a prisoner in my own home." For months, Mrs Stephenson, who lives alone, had been putting up with abuse from children in her street.

The situation escalated one night as the children started banging on her windows and throwing stones. Mrs Stephenson's son Daniel, 31, who was visiting at the time, chased the children down the road but did not grab hold of them.

"When he came back members of two families broke my door down and they beat him up just for chasing them down the road he was kicked and he was beaten," said Mrs Stephenson.

While her son was being attacked by three of the thugs Mrs Stephenson was verbally abused by a fourth man. She said: "I have had enough. I live here on my own and the last thing I want is to be humiliated."

Mrs Stephenson managed to call the police and the attackers were arrested but only two were charged. They appeared in court and received a 12-month suspended sentence and a £60 fine.

Since the attack, just over a month ago, Mrs Stephenson has had dirty baby nappies thrown into her garden, and she is now at her wits' end.

She makes her living from a chair caning business she runs from home. but has found it difficult to focus on her work.

"I have lost a lot of confidence in my work so I have got to force myself. After that I don't feel safe but I want to keep my independence," said Mrs Stephenson, who since the incident has invested in a panic button.

Medway police confirmed that an incident had taken place at Mrs Stephenson's home with her door being broken down. They said they had not heard more from Mrs Stephenson since the men appeared in court.

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