A house of horrors which has plagued a community with a torrent of anti-social behaviour - including machete street fights - has been shut down by Middlesbrough Council.
People living in North Ormesby had described number 43 Thornton Street as being "like a crack den" with all manner of anti-social behaviour going on.
The council's Neighbourhood Safety team worked with the local community to secure a Closure Order on the property at Teesside Magistrates' Court where the occupant Ben Sheppard appeared to contest the matter as defendant.
Council prosecutor Andrew Perriman told the court that among the complaints were:
- Fighting, swearing and shouting in the street outside of the property, some of which involved the use of machetes and baseball bats.
- Suspected drug dealing and drug use.
- Loud parties, which would often run over the entire weekend.
- Callers to the address at all hours of the day and night.
- The front window to the property smashed three times.
- Off road motor bikes and quad bikes were often stored at the address.
- A stun gun was found at the property when searched by police in June 2019.
Additionally, the court heard that an occupant had thrown paint at a local shop and has been verbally abusive to staff at North Ormesby Community Hub and a Middlesbrough Council litter picker.
The property has been secured by the council and the court order makes it a criminal offence for anyone to enter the address for three months.
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston has recently announced a raft of measures to fight back against crime and anti-social behaviour including an increased number of street wardens and the introduction of Community Enforcement Vehicles fitted with CCTV.
He said: "This is a small but significant victory for the good people of North Ormesby. We are teaching bad people - and this house has been full of bad people - that there will be consequences.
"And if these individuals just take their behaviour somewhere else, then we will hit them again and again until they get the message that the Council is on the side of the majority of good people who want to live and work without this appalling behaviour dragging them down.
"This order shows people they can talk to their local councillor Ashley Waters and the Neighbourhood Safety team at the Community Hub in complete confidence and remain completely anonymous.
"We want to do more like this - and we can - but we need people to give us the information so we can take action against people who make others' lives a misery."
North Ormesby Cllr Ashley Waters said: "This is a brilliant result for the community and shows what can happen if we share information on what's happening here.
"I would also stress that just reporting the matter once is good for bringing the matter to our attention, however, if the issue persists this too must continue to be reported to build the case. Without evidence strong enforcement action is not possible."
Pictured: (L-R) Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston, North Ormesby Cllr Ashley Waters and Street Warden Peter Hilton outside 43 Thornton Street which has been served with a closure order.