Express & Star

'Stop harassing me!' Pensioner's anguish as vandals target her house because a paedophile used to live there

A woman who lives in the former home of a convicted paedophile is fearing for her life after yobs hurled a brick through the window of her Black Country house.


Hazel Denham, aged 77, of Clent Road, Oldbury, has lived in her home for the last 18 months, but has been the victim of vile and vicious attacks, with the most recent happening on Friday evening when a brick was thrown through her front window.

Before she had chance to see who had done it, the perpetrators had fled the scene.

They have previously vandalised the front of her house with written abuse, and neighbours along with police have helped to clean it up.

But Mrs Denham believes she is being targeted because of who she says was the home's previous occupant, Harold Branson, who was jailed in January 2007 after being convicted of indecently assaulting three girls nearly thirty years ago.

He was jailed for nine years and sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court for 12 charges of indecent assault and two charges of indecency with a child. He was disqualified from working with children for life and told he would have to notify police of his whereabouts upon his release.

The offences took place between 1983 and 1991 when one of the victims was just five years old. The court heard how Branson had brainwashed his victims into keeping it 'his little secret'. However, years later the youngest of the victims, now in her thirties, decided to speak up and was supported by two other victims, now in their thirties.

Mrs Denham, originally from Birmingham, moved from Skegness to the area to be closer to a friend.

She said:"I'm an elderly woman who has done nothing to no-one. I'm petrified in my house and scared to leave it. Luckily, I wasn't in the front room on Friday, otherwise I could have been killed. The police have told me they can't do anything but I don't understand how this can be the case considering how many times I've called them out.

"I've been told the house was targeted when the previous owner lived here, but people need to realise there is no connection between us whatsoever and this needs to stop. How can anyone abuse and treat an elderly woman in this way?"

Sergeant Jamie Neadle, from the local policing team, said: "We are aware of the ongoing concerns around this address and local officers continue to work with the householder and community.

"Inquiries remain ongoing into the motive for the offences."

Anyone with information about the incident on Friday is asked to call police on 101.

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