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July 7, 2003

Yobs have forced me out of my home

From: Norwich Evening News, UK - Jul 7, 2003

A deaf man has resorted to sleeping in his car in woods around the city after being driven out of his home by a gang of yobs.

David Hall has had his flat ransacked, his car tyres slashed and the windows of his tattoo business broken.

He said he had lost his confidence, stopped socialising and was hiding from the gang by spending nights in the back of his four-by-four vehicle.

He has not slept at his home since it was burgled six weeks ago and said police had warned him not to put any possessions back in the property.

Mr Hall said: "I can't cope with this much longer. I don't go out because I am scared they will follow me, but I feel safe in the woods.

"I just want somewhere quiet to stay where I can sleep and wash and feel safe."

At first Mr Hall was staying with friends and family, but he did not want to become a burden and has resorted to spending nights on his narrow tattoo bench in his shop or sleeping in the back of his Daihatsu Fourtrack in woods.

The 37-year-old, who is completely deaf, but wears a powerful hearing aid and can lip-read, had his television, videos, microwave, vacuum cleaner, and even his cat litter stolen by the crooks in a raid last month at his house in Pyehurn Mews, Thorpe Marriott.

The burglars also took a £700 specially designed video recorder, which records subtitles along with programmes.

"I don't know what's going on as I can't hear and I don't feel safe," he said.

"I am feeling low, have lost my confidence and am finding it hard to sleep.

"I have to have someone with me when I go out now, but I used to go to pubs and clubs and out for dinner.

Although Mr Hall has spent nights at his parents' house, he said it was 20 years since he moved out of home and it was not very easy for him or them.

"My parents have put an extra lock on their door at home, because of the situation," he said.

And Mr Hall's tattoo business, Just Tattoos, on Boundary Road, is not safe either.

A window has been broken and a few days ago, tattoo designs were stolen while Mr Hall was at the doctors.

He has begged the Wherry Housing Association, which provides his home, to move him.

"The Police have warned me they are organised criminals and not to move any of my things back into the flat," said Mr Hall.

"I don't understand why they are targeting me, but I feel angry.

A spokeswoman for Wherry Housing Association said: "We have applied to the council for special discretionary points and are awaiting confirmation.

"This will enable Mr Hall to move immediately. We have also identified two properties that are suitable for him to move into.

"We take the welfare of our tenants very seriously and have taken every course of action possible to resolve this situation."

- A man has been arrested and charged in connection with the burglary on Mr Halls' flat and will appear in court next week.

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