It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Police and council officials have already been attacked for failing to stop the gang taunting Miss Pilkington and her disabled daughter Francecca Hardwick, 18.
The inquest heard that yobs taunted Miss Pilkington and heaped abuse on her daughter, who had a mental age of four.
They trampled the family's hedge, hurled stones and eggs at the windows, shoved dog excrement and fireworks through the letterbox, screamed obscenities and threatened Miss Pilkington's dyslexic son Anthony with a knife.
Yet despite receiving 33 desperate 999 calls in ten years, police dismissed Miss Pilkington as 'over-reacting' and classed her as 'low priority'. Unable to bear the torment any more, she decided death was her only escape, and she killed herself and her daughter by setting fire to their car near their home in Barwell, Leicestershire, in October 2007.
Towards the end, Fiona’s mother moved in with the family to offer support and make her daughter feel safer.
It really has come to something when it falls to a 72-year-old woman to try to give a family some security.
Mrs Cassell, who now cares for her 19-year-old grandson Anthony, told the inquest: ‘One of the youths came to the house and said: “We can do anything we like to you and you can’t do anything about it”.’
And he was absolutely right. The yobs persecuted Fiona’s family because they could.
A friend of Miss Pilkington said: ‘The youths were so evil towards her. They could see Frankie’s disability and that Fiona was vulnerable herself. They recognised it and exploited it. They didn’t give a damn.’
Miss Pilkington’s diary, read to the court, revealed how she sat in the dark in her lounge until 2.30am willing the yobs outside to move on. She knew better than to call the police at weekends because they were usually ‘busy elsewhere’ and she was ‘low priority’.
The police officer who was in charge of the force that failed to protect a mother who went on to kill herself and her daughter today failed to apologise over the case.
Chief Constable Matt Baggott ran Leicestershire Constabulary during the period Fiona Pilkington and her family endured a campaign of violence, bullying and harassment that drove her to despair.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched an investigation into the case but today Chief Constable Baggott, now head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, stopped short of saying sorry.
In a statement on the case he commented: "There are regrets and deep sadness that vulnerable people suffered so it is wrong to say that no one cares.
“Police are there to protect people and we are all saddened that the needs of an individual family were not picked up against the backdrop of the huge demands placed on the police every day.
“This tragic case also highlights the complexities involved in cooperation and the sharing of information between different agencies so there are lessons to be learned and they will be learnt and taken forward."
We have learned that one of the families at the centre of this profoundly upsetting story are the Simmonses, who live a few doors from the home Fiona shared with her two children.
There are four brothers, Ross, 20, Alex, 16, Mitchel, 15, and Charlie, 12, who live with their parents, Steven and Suzanne Simmons, in a semi-detached council house.
The three eldest have been identified to the Mail by a parish councillor as being among those seen outside the Pilkington house.
Another neighbour, a professional woman, told us she saw Alex outside the house on the night Fiona and Frankie died.
He is said to be the ringleader.
Last week, Ron Grantham, community safety manager at Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, told the inquest into the deaths that there was one family ‘still causing trouble to this day’, whom the council had tried unsuccessfully to evict.
Court records seen by the Mail reveal he was referring to Steven and Suzanne Simmons.
According to a friend of Fiona, Alex Simmons’s reaction when he heard the news of the double tragedy, was this: ‘Oh, she thinks she’s Guy Fawkes, she’s torched herself and her daughter.’
This week, the Mail interviewed the Simmons family at home.
The family have two pet polecats. One is called S**tbreak (presumably after one of the characters in the gross-out movie comedy American Pie), the other apparently has no name.
During our interview, Alex sits on the floor of the living room pulling the unnamed polecat by the tail, munching crisps.
His mother warns us not to accept Alex’s offer to ‘cuddle’ the creature because it bites.
He is small and frail and wears his mousy hair in a ponytail.
Alex Simmons on his bike
He looks younger than his 16 years, but there is the unmistakable stamp of ‘attitude’ written across his face.
Beneath a cluttered mantelpiece is the fireplace, which the family uses as a wastebin.
Today it is overflowing with empty packets of Walker’s crisps.
Half-drunk bottles of Strongbow cider are littered around the room. The centrepiece is the ubiquitous widescreen TV.
Their parents just don’t care. Alex’s mother is always drinking, and so is Steven.
‘He can be violent, especially when he’s drunk. He has told me to “keep my ****ing mouth shut” or I’ll have his fist through it.’
Alex has boasted he has twice been expelled from school for ‘fighting with teachers’
Leicestershire police apparently failed to ‘link’ the 33 serious complaints made by Fiona over ten years, but how can that possibly be so? Do they not have a computer system, or even a paper filing system?
A friend of Fiona’s, a Barwell parish councillor who asks to remain anonymous, says the situation was hopeless.
‘We tried our best to stop what was going on, but got no support from the authorities whatsoever,’ says the woman.
‘Some of us contacted the police and council ourselves, but our pleas fell on deaf ears.
‘Fiona rang me two days before she died. She said they were outside her house again, and would I come and help her. She said she could take no more. ‘I went round there. The road was full of that rabble. They were urinating and throwing eggs and stones at her house and pushing dog excrement through the letterbox.
‘I can’t repeat the horrendous things I heard that night. I confronted them and they said them to me, too.
‘Fiona phoned the police and they said “We’ll get somebody out tomorrow”, but nobody came.’
Later, Gordon Brown will put it at the centre of his own last-gasp political fightback as he insists he is the right person to lead Labour into the next election.
Delivering a rare ‘narrative verdict’, the jury answered a series of nine questions posed by the coroner.
The four men and four women concluded that Miss Pilkington, 37, started the fire, decided to end her life and unlawfully killed her daughter.
Crucially, they also said ‘Yes’ to the question: ‘Did the response of the police to calls made to them by Fiona Pilkington and her family contribute to the decision made by Fiona Pilkington on October 23, 2007, to act as she did?’ adding: ‘Calls were not linked or prioritised.’
When asked: ‘Did the response of the Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council to complaints made to them by the deceased contribute to the decision made by Fiona Pilkington to act as she did?’ they said: ‘Yes,’ adding: ‘Prior to February 2007, actions to control anti-social behaviour were not evident.’
A brilliant and important observation appears in the latest column by Mary Dejevsky in the Indy. She’s writing about the horrors of the Fiona Pilkington case, in which a mother killed herself and her daughter after years of harassment from her feral teenage neighbours. Disgracefully, the police paid virtually no attention to her pleas for help, in the process providing proof of how far removed policing in Britain now is from its core job. That should to catch criminals so effectively that it puts off other potential criminals. But Dejevsky rightly identifies the failure of Asbos (Anti-Social Behaviour Orders) as central to this crisis of policing. New Labour introduced them in order to show how seriously it took the kind of low-level crime which blights neighbourhoods, and particularly poor neighbourhoods. But the effect - it’s those old “unintended consequences of progress” again - has been the opposite to that intended. Instead, it has trivialised such behaviour to the extent that Asbo culture is endlessly laughed at on television rather than being treated seriously.
“There were, Alan Johnson said yesterday, “no excuses”. Quite so. But his specific criticisms and remedies should not go without challenge. First, there is the matter of anti-social behaviour. Mr Johnson said the agencies were wrong to regard such anti-social behaviour as the Pilkington’s experienced as “low-level crime”. But what, pray, does the description “anti-social behaviour” denote? By separating this sort of persistent petty crime from “real” crime, the Government has invited the police to treat it differently. And this was surely the purpose. The Blair government correctly identified this sort of persistent and neglected offending as something voters were worried about, especially in deprived areas. But the effect of classifying it as “anti-social behaviour” and slapping “Asbos” on offenders was that it was no longer treated as a crime. It was a nuisance to be tackled by cut-price “community” officers, not the fully paid-up variety. Mr Johnson regrets that perhaps ministers “coasted” on anti-social behaviour. But this is a direct consequence of separating it from crime.”
I believe many PD's have actually taken the "To Protect and Serve" quotes off of their cruisers.
Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
In the US the courts have consistently ruled the police have no obligation to protect us.
Guess the cops over there are still pretending they're there to protect you?
Criminals in Las Vegas have to be nuts.