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'Nightmare neighbour' banned from living in his own home

The steel-shuttered former home of Peter Armstrong in Wordsworth Street Credit: Gateshead Council

A 'nightmare neighbour' in Gateshead has been banned from living in his own home after reports of anti-social behaviour, crime and drug dealing in and around his property.

Residents said they were living in "perpetual fear" of 42-year-old Peter Armstrong and the visitors to his address on Wordsworth Street.

Neighbourhood Police officers received numerous reports of visitors shouting, spitting and urinating in the street, as well as asking residents for money or to use their mobile phones. Neighbours also reported finding needles on the ground in nearby streets.

Gateshead Council and Northumbria Police agreed to take legal action, after previous court action failed to change Armstrong's behaviour, or the behaviour of those that visited him.

A Closure Order has now been granted under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. It means Armstrong has been banned from living in his own home for three months and the rented property he lived in has now been shuttered so no one else can access it.

It is the first time Gateshead Council has used this legislation to ban someone from their privately-rented home, but they say they and police were left with "no choice".

This is the first time we have used this legislation to ban someone from their privately-rented home, but we were left with no choice and I’m sure it will come as a huge relief to his neighbours.

Nobody should have to endure the kind of gross anti-social and criminal behaviour that was spilling out of Mr Armstrong’s home onto this quiet residential street, and both ourselves and Northumbria Police are grateful for the patience and support those residents have given us in dealing with Mr Armstrong and his friends.

We won’t hesitate to use this legislation again should the need arise.

– Councillor Linda Green, Cabinet member for Communities

Neighbourhood Inspector Alan Pitchford added said the eviction should serve as a warning to other nuisance tenants.

He said: "We know anti-social behaviour is a significant issue for our local residents and along with our partner agencies we work tirelessly to do everything we can to tackle this issue.

"We hope offenders now recognise just how seriously we take this kind of behaviour and understand that it will not be tolerated under any circumstances."