Wolverhampton residents tell of their terror at racist abuse

Residents who were subjected to a campaign of racial hatred by a neighbour have told how they feared to leave the house after receiving threats.

Patricia Mills has been given a suspended prison sentence for posting offensive items through letterboxes in her street in Wolverhampton, including abusive letters and pornographic images.

Nineteen-year-old Fathima Anas said she was scared to leave her parents alone at the family home on Vicarage Road, Wolverhampton, after they received a knife and a letter telling the them to leave the area.

She said: “It said they didn’t want us to live here because we are Asian and if we didn’t move they were going to kill us. First when we got the letter we didn’t feel safe. We were feeling scared.

“It’s not nice because it’s a country where you have freedom of speech and living, so you wouldn’t expect to see that early in the morning when you leave the house. When I would walk out I used to look around and my parents used to get scared to leave me alone. I couldn’t leave my mum at home alone.

“The first time we went to the police station and launched a complaint. We had to change our letterbox. We had to Sellotape it.”

Mills, aged 55, who lives on the same road in the All Saints area of the city and is herself of West Indian heritage, was found guilty at court of five counts of racially aggravated harassment. Her crimes also included throwing paint over a neighbour’s front door, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard. She was sentenced to nine months in jail for each count, to run concurrently, suspended for 18 months.

Pc Wayne Harris said: “Only she will know why she chose to target these people in the manner that she did.”