'Ketamine Kate' house closure is first in Penryn
AN ANTISOCIAL tenant known as 'Ketamine Kate' has been thrown out of her house after a two-year investigation and a court order.
No 36 Permarin Road was boarded up on Monday under the first house closure notice to be served in Penryn since new legislation was introduced ten years ago.
Since Cornwall Housing tenant Kate Martin, aged 39, moved into the property almost two years ago neighbours had repeatedly complained about noise, threatening behaviour, abusive language and parties, Truro Magistrates' Court heard on Monday.
A young mother living nearby, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court: "Life has been a living hell for myself and my five-year-old son.
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"They are smack-heads and have left needles about. I don't want them around my son."
Martin's next-door neighbour, Margaret Webb, told the court: "It has just been a typical nightmare.
"The noise has been terrible. I'm afraid to go to bed; I haven't had any sleep all night sometimes.
"These people were using awful language and were very frightening, and Kate just enjoys all this."
Martin was not present in court when the magistrates granted the three-month order.
During the closure operation later the same day Natasha Mathews, senior antisocial behaviour case worker for Cornwall Council, said it was being done as a "last resort", as Martin had failed to change her behaviour.
Louise Downer, neighbourhood enforcement officer for Cornwall Housing, said the agency was delighted with the result.
"It has been a long battle for the past 21 months and finally we are able to give back the other residents their peace and quiet," she said.
PCSO Lewis Vague said Martin's 15-year-old son had lived with her during her tenancy, but moved out. Police had initially received a "positive reaction" from Martin, but that relationship had deteriorated over time.
"The antisocial behaviour process had failed and the closure order was the only option we had left," he said, calling it an "absolutely fantastic" result: "It puts a statement out there. It shows it's not acceptable.
"I'm happy for neighbours and thank them for their help. They will be able to get back to their lives."
One neighbour told the West Briton: "They call her Ketamine Kate. Everyone's happy she's gone.
"We can get some peace."
Another said there were "drunk and undesirable" people shouting at each other in the street and swearing: but one local resident defended Martin, saying: "She had friends in and out just like everybody else. It's wrong. She's been singled out by the police."
Adam Fitzpatrick, who is the neighbourhood enforcement team manager for Cornwall Housing, said the aim of throwing her out was to give neighbours relief, but added: "She obviously has to find alternative accommodation, so you'd hope being homeless for three months may give her time to think about her behaviour and possibly change her conduct in future."