Couple confronted by armed police during hoax call harassment campaign (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Couple confronted by armed police during hoax call harassment campaign
A couple who were confronted by armed police during a year-long campaign of harrassment by a neighbour after withdrawing from a property deal have spoken of their ordeal.
The victims were confronted by armed police on Christmas Eve during year-long campaign of harassment
Ann and Terry Poulton were living in Capworth Street, Leyton, when they were forced to pull out of a deal to sell their home to Majid Shamas in 2011 due to illness.
Shamas, who live opposite the couple, then embarked on a ruthless campaign of harassment, repeatedly placing hoax calls with the police, fire brigade and ambulance service.
In one of at least 27 incidents armed police turned up at their home on Christmas Eve when Shamas reported that someone had been shot.
Shamas also reported that there was a gun in the house and the hoax calls between 2am and 7am became so regular that they resorted to sleeping in the afternoon.
Mrs Poulton, 48, said: “We didn’t know who it was and felt so upset that we started thinking it was friends or family.
“After about the first 10 incidents we kept saying to police ‘We’re being watched.
“Not even five minutes after we shut our curtains we had emergency services at the door.”
Now living in Cambridge, the couple said they are still anxious as a result of the harrassment came to hate their home.
They believed Shamas launched the campaign in an attempt to lower the value of their property.
“I still have panic attacks when I hear sirens because of the times when it was two in the morning and officers were standing there with guns pointing at me,” Mrs Poulton added.
The calls were eventuall traced to Shamas and he was arrested.
He admitted the improper use of the public communications network and harassment and is due to be sentenced at Thames Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.