Asbo handed to race abuse woman, 80
Published 07/07/2011 | 12:46
A goose-stepping 80-year-old woman who hurled anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic abuse at neighbours and visitors has been handed an Asbo.
Edna Beck subjected neighbours at the East Sussex flats where she lives to "intolerable" anti-social behaviour over seven years, a court heard. She ranted at Polish residents and a gay couple living in the building in Tisbury Road, Hove, and made references to "Jews", "Muslims" and "queers".
Brighton magistrates heard on Wednesday that Beck had been overheard shouting "Sieg heil" and "Hitler". Young children were also left frightened after she called them "Hitler's children" as they played in the garden while visiting their father.
Mike Tyler, prosecuting for Brighton and Hove City Council, said: "On one occasion she was observed to goose-step behind a visitor to the premises and to perform a Nazi salute at her neighbour.
"There are also reports of Miss Beck being drunk and disorderly in the communal areas of the properties and immediately outside the building.
"She has thrown items at a flat door and deliberately littered the communal hall. She has thrown items, including broken glass and empty alcohol bottles, out of her window into the area of the basement flat. On one occasion she threw out her soiled underwear."
Beck also deliberately set off fire alarms and left the building insecure by leaving the communal door open at night, magistrates heard. Mail which arrived at the flats was interfered with and sometimes she would scribble graffiti on the envelopes, Mr Tyler told the court.
Beck's landlord, HR Investments South East, are in the process of seeking possession of her flat to stop the misery of her neighbours. Mr Tyler said: "Even if her landlord obtains possession of the property, the concern is that without this order in place, Miss Beck will continue to perpetrate anti-social behaviour wherever she lives."
On Wednesday magistrates handed Beck an interim Asbo, which was welcomed by local authority officials.
Ben Duncan, Brighton and Hove City Council's cabinet member for communities, equalities and public protection, said: "We sincerely hope that Ms Beck will now consider the serious nature of her behaviour and of the implications should she continue to behave in this manner. We will continue to offer Ms Beck support to help her address her behaviour and become a good neighbour."