15-year terror campaign waged against Thornbury couple

November 11 2020
15-year terror campaign waged against Thornbury couple

POLICE are asking for help to trace whoever is behind a 15-year anonymous campaign to terrorise an elderly Thornbury couple.

Officers say the couple, who have not been named but live on Primrose Drive, have had their house, car and garden repeatedly attacked and have been sent threatening letters, including one which issued the threat: "We have a big sharp knife waiting for you when it goes dark."

The attacks include:

*Glass bottles filled with paint being thrown at the couple's home
*At least four threatening letters sent in the post, some demanding money
*The couple's car being scratched
*A concrete slab being thrown through their conservatory window
*Eggs being thrown at their house
*Roofing nails scattered on their driveway
*Laundry capsules thrown on the couple's lawn, burning the grass
*Wine bottles and beer cans thrown into their garden

One of the victims, who has asked to remain anonymous, described the effect of the harassment.

She said: "These incidents make us feel anxious and frustrated.

"It's very stressful and has affected our health. We have no peace of mind.

"We think it's one person, but can't believe that someone would hold a grudge for so long.

"I want to know why they're doing this to us. What have we done?

"The police are doing their very best for us. They’ve always been there for us and we're very happy with their support.

"We're not going to let this person win."

Thornbury police beat manager PC Natalie Jones said: "This is a frustrating case for us. The couple have no idea who could be responsible and it can be many months - even years - between incidents. "CCTV has been installed and we've had items examined by our forensics teams but we still haven't got that one piece of evidence to help us identify the person responsible - that's why we've issued this appeal.

We know the victims are being specifically targeted, as the anonymous letters are personally addressed.

We also know the incidents are linked, as the letters quite clearly make reference to the colour of paint the offender threatens to use next.

Being victim of one incident of criminal damage is bad enough for any elderly couple, but to be subjected to dozens of incidents over more than a decade is quite frankly awful.

The paint attacks in particular have left them feeling particularly vulnerable, as they’re unable to clean the paint themselves and have had to pay for it to be removed, while the letters have left them scared to leave their home.

The stress and anxiety these incidents are causing the victims is something we desperately want to bring an end to and we really need the public’s help to achieve this.

Have you witnessed any of the incidents?

Have you ever seen anyone acting suspiciously in the Primrose Drive area?

Have you ever witnessed anyone pouring paint into glass bottles?

Any information, no matter how insignificant you think it might be, could help identify whoever is responsible for these shameful incidents, so please get in touch if you know or have seen something.

"We do have forensic evidence which could help us eliminate people from our enquiries, so even if you only have a suspicion, do please pass the information on.

"You can speak anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers if you don't want to talk to us."
Avon and Somerset police say they have a "formal problem solving plan" to try to identify whoever is responsible for the attacks, which usually happen while the victims are out.

CCTV cameras have already been installed at the couple's home and lighting on a public footpath behind their home has been improved by the council.

Anyone who thinks they know who is behind the attacks should call the police on 101 and quote the crime reference number 5220 207 115.

Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.