An elderly widow who collapsed and died after her Bradford house was attacked by teenage yobs had been “terrorised” for weeks by similar incidents, neighbours said last night.
Detectives, investigating the sudden death of Joyce Moulson, 84, have been studying CCTV footage in a bid to trace hooligans as young as 13, who smashed a glass door at her home minutes before she collapsed.
Mrs Moulson, is thought to have suffered a heart attack as she examined the damage to her house in Fair Road, Wibsey.
Her neighbours claimed she had suffered weeks of teenage yobs banging on her doors and windows.
Police confirmed they had attended her home in January, when glass in her garden greenhouse was smashed, and said the local police community support officer had visited her.
Officers are also thought to have attended an incident at the property in 2009.
Mrs Moulson collapsed outside her home ten minutes after a glass door panel at the house was smashed by three youths throwing stones, at about 6pm on Tuesday. She died later in Bradford Royal Infirmary.
Her death has been reported to the Bradford Coroner and a post-mortem examination was taking place last night.
A police spokesman said: “The PCSO who patrols the area often paid personal visits to the address.”
He said officers were investigating the circumstances which led to her death and CCTV inquiries from the area were ongoing.
Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Simon Atkinson, of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “We received reports that three male youths had thrown stones at the address which had smashed a glass door panel.
“The elderly occupant collapsed around ten minutes later and was transported to Bradford Royal Infirmary during which period she sadly died.
“We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour at any level in Bradford and we are determined to bring those responsible to justice. It is likely they live locally and people may know who they are.”
He said one of the youths was described as white, about 13 years old, of large build, with dark, shoulder-length curly hair. The two other males are believed to be of similar age and of slimmer build.
Neighbourhood Policing Team officers have been patrolling the area to respond to any residents’ concerns.
Mary Firth, a close friend of Mrs Moulson, said yesterday: “She had been pestered by young lads knocking on her doors and windows – it had been going on for weeks. They have been terrorising her.”
Julie Taylor, who owns a shop on the street, said: “Youths are always jumping on the wall outside her house, and in the garden. Some of them have no respect.”
Nicola Taylor, who lives opposite, said: “There’s always a lot of kids hanging round on the corner. It’s quite scary.”
Another local, who did not want to be named, also said Mrs Moulson had been plagued by troublesome youths for a number of weeks. One woman claimed Mrs Moulson’s house had been burgled in the past.
The front door of Mrs Moulson’s three-storey, large, end stone terraced house had a glass panel missing, while police guarded the property yesterday.
The house is located on a busy high street through Wibsey, with a number of shops and businesses close by.
Mrs Firth said: “It is so very sad. She was the type of person who would help anybody. She was such a nice lady and was very strong-willed – she would have confronted the yobs.”
Mrs Moulson was said by people in Wibsey to be a wealthy woman, who owned various properties in the area. Her husband, Derek, who friends say died about four years ago, had run a successful building firm.
Joyce Aitken lived in a property owned by the Moulson family. She said: “Joyce was such a nice lady, very well made, and in pretty good health. It is so dreadful. I am sorry to hear the news.”
People in the area said Mrs Moulson had three children – believed to be called John, Julie and Jason – and a number of grandchildren.
One woman, who did not want to be named, said: “It is so sad and so near to Christmas as well. It always happens to the nice ones.”
Any witnesses, or anyone with information, should contact the non-emergency number 101, or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.
- Four Bradford boys, two aged 12 and two aged 13, were last night arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and were being questioned by detectives.