Mum says her and family have been driven out of South Shields due to criminal attacks

Nicola Willetts with sons Joshua, left, and Jayden.
Nicola Willetts with sons Joshua, left, and Jayden.

A desperate mum says she and her young sons have been driven out their South Tyneside home because of a nine-month campaign of terror against them.

Nicola Willetts moved to South Shields almost five years ago and for the past three years has lived in a flat in Boldon Lane with her boys, South Shields Community School pupil Joshua, 12, and Jayden, six, who goes to Lord Blyton Primary School in Simonside.

Nicola Willett

Nicola Willett

But since September the Screwfix worker says she has had numerous incidents of damage being caused to her home and car.

Police officers say they have been in contact with Nicola since the incidents began, have carried out investigations and helped to install CCTV at her home

But the 29-year-old now says she has been left with no option other than to leave the area and is returning to her hometown of Blackburn, in Lancashire.

“Basically, I’ve been driven out of South Shields,” said Nicola.

Nicola Willetts with sons Joshua, left, and Jayden.

Nicola Willetts with sons Joshua, left, and Jayden.

“Since September I’ve had my kitchen window and bathroom windows put through a number of times.

“My car’s been smashed up three times and I’ve had threats made to me by a person through friends.

“But the police say they can’t do anything because of a lack of evidence so I don’t know what more I can do?”

Nicola also believes that she was the intended target for a suspected arson attack on Monday, June 20, on a neighbour’s Fiat Punto car outside her home.

Teenager Liam Pearce, who was passing through the street at the time, shot footage on his mobile phone of fire crews putting out the blaze.

“I’m sure that that was meant for me,” she added.

“I’m not from this area originally so I haven’t got a big network of friends to support me through everything.

“I can’t bring up two kids in this environment so I’ve decided to leave.”

Ms Willetts hit out at the lack of help from Northumbria Police officers.

“The response has been a joke,” she said.

“I’ve never even been offered panic buttons or anything.

“I don’t even ring the police anymore when things happen because I know that nothing will be done about it.

“They told me if I rang them they’d be round in seconds to help but once I had to wait four hours.
“It just feels like a waste of time and that I’ve been left to suffer in silence.”

Nicola added that she feels the move has had to happen for the safety of her two boys.

“My youngest son has been left petrified all of the time,” she said.
“My other son has been excluded from school seven times in the past few months and I’m sure what’s gone on at home has affected him, as it has all of us.”

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “We have been working closely with the victim for a number of months as we look to put measures in place to ensure she has the appropriate support networks available to her.

“Our Safeguarding Department and the local Neighbourhood Policing Team have been in regular contact to ensure her safety and carry out enquiries into the incidents that have been reported to police.

“Our officers have offered crime prevention advice, helped install CCTV cameras at the property and carried out extra patrols in the area to try and prevent any further incidents.

“It is awful that the victim in this case feels like she has to leave her home but we will continue to offer her any support she needs if she chooses to remain in the Northumbria Police area.”