A COURT has heard a woman who is accused of a blitz of anti-social behaviour in Ballymena allegedly phoned police to request them to “collect her cat”.
Details emerged at the town’s Magistrates Court where an application by police for an interim Anti-Social Behaviour Order was granted.
The application was made in connection with allegations relating to Sinead Erwin (49), of Carnduff Drive in Ballymena.
Details regarding the ASBO application alleged that on dates between November 4 and November 25 this year the defendant acted in an anti-social manner ‘that caused harassment, alarm or distress to one or more person not of the same household as themselves, namely: the emergency services (in particular the PSNI and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service); statutory agencies, government agencies, members of the voluntary sector’.
The application showed organisations consulted about the ASBO application included the PSNI, Mid & East Antrim Borough Council and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
Applying for the ASBO a police officer said Ms Erwin had “148 incidents linked to her profile” since 2009 and in Ballymena since 2019 there were “95 incidents”.
The officer said alleged incidents varied from “a homophobic incident and assault” and added: “It has just become progressively worse”.
The policewoman claimed there has been a “repeat theme of drunken parties, noise, anti-social behaviour, racial abuse, foul language, homophobic abuse, assault and threatening behaviour”.
The officer said examples of calls made to police by Ms Erwin included “losing personal items which she later recovers within the confines of her property”; “drunken requests asking for males to be removed from the property and a request for police to collect her cat”.
The officer said she wrote to Ms Erwin in March this year advising her of her “26 interactions” with police between November last year and this March and told her about “agencies which could be of benefit to her”.
In October this year, the officer said she was contacted by a “family member” and she again told Ms Erwin what services she could avail of and “updated her GP in relation to concerns”.
The police officer said since moving into Carnduff Drive on November 2 this year there had been complaints of “verbal abuse, foul language, noise, music, locking of communal door, and recently stones being thrown by Ms Erwin at the property”.
The policewoman said between November 4-30 there had been “13 requests for police” and more since.
In response to complaints from residents, police met with the Housing Executive and the Council “who had also received multiple complaints”.
The officer said all agencies agreed to issue “warning letters in an attempt to address the behaviour” but also “offer advice and support” to Ms Erwin.
The policewoman said she and a Housing Executive official went to Ms Erwin’s address and spoke to her and when they arrived “the music was playing” and she was asked to turn it down.
The police officer alleged they were “immediately subjected to a tirade of foul abuse and aggression”; constantly sworn at and told to get out.
During the incident, it was claimed, Ms Erwin shouted “through a wall” at a neighbour despite being asked to refrain and then went to the door and shouted: “F… you Carnduff Drive”.
The policewoman said Ms Erwin was warned about her behaviour and she “ran back into the property”.
The officer said despite the warning letters the alleged behaviour was continuing.
Since then the policewoman said it was alleged Ms Erwin had been shouting; banging on doors; “throwing bottles, smashing items” and using “very, very abusive, and totally unacceptable language towards the neighbours”.
The officer said the neighbours were elderly and retired and had lived in the Housing Executive four flat block for several years and “have never experienced behaviour like this”.
The policewoman said one neighbour has a disability “and needs the communal door to remain open.”
District Judge Nigel Broderick made an interim ASBO and gave defence solicitor Stewart Ballentine time to “take instructions” from Ms Erwin.
The judge said there did appear to be a “strong prima facie case based on the officer’s evidence”.
The case was adjourned to January 27 and the court heard the interim ASBO would last to then.