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Disabled man is terrorised

A DISABLED man and his family are being terrorised by an arsonist, who has targeted their Aldershot home twice in recent weeks.

The first attack came before Christmas when piles of leaflets posted through the door were set alight.

On that occasion the Park Estate resident, who does not want to be identified, was able to pick up the burning pile and throw it out of the house.

But the fire brigade and a police forensics team were called to investigate the second attack last Friday.

This week the resident told this newspaper about the latest attack, which he says is making his life a misery.

He said: “There was a lot of post on the floor and a jiffy bag which was alight. When I stamped on it, it flared up. I must have set something off in it. We don’t know if it came in the post or if it was posted through the letterbox and just coincided with the post coming.

“The fire brigade checked to see if there was any petrol or anything but couldn’t find the use of any accelerants. The police and forensics and everything came out but there was nothing for them to trace because it all got burnt.”

The 43-year-old man, who lives with his wife and two sons, says the attacks have traumatised the whole family.

He said: “My wife is a nervous wreck and won’t talk about it. My little boy, the youngest one, has quite severe learning difficulties and isn’t sleeping. He went to a school in Basingstoke, which burnt down, and now he thinks that will happen here.

“None of us are sleeping very well because we’re always looking out for what’s going to happen next.

“We leave a bucket of water under the letterbox before we go to bed, just in case, and with every little noise you’re up checking it. My main concern is that if there was a bad fire, with me in a wheelchair and my two boys with learning difficulties, it would be more difficult to get out.”

Pavilion Housing Assoc-iation are due to fix a new box to the outside of the house next week, so the existing one can be blocked up to prevent further attacks.

Alistair Macdonald, Pavilion Estates team manager, said: “This is an unusual case so the association doesn’t have an overall policy in this instance.

“However, we can assure our tenants we do investigate all reports of nuisance, anti-social behaviour and crime thoroughly.

“We have been liaising closely with Aldershot Police under the Safer Estates Agreement on this matter.”

Sgt Richard Wheeler, of Aldershot police, said: “We have done what we can at the time. We have carried out door-to-door inquiries. At the moment we’re not aware of any witnesses.”

The family says they have no idea why they are being singled out and hope News’ readers may be able to help.

He said: “You never know if someone out there knows something about it. The police have spoken to all the neighbours, but the paper will go further out. I was hoping someone may have seen or heard something that can help us.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Aldershot police station on 0845 045 45 45.


Charlotte Neal
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Joshua Smith
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet & Yateley Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
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