Her child and herself.
Incredibly tragic and completely preventable.
I'm including the e-mail address of the Leicestershire England police department so people can easily contact them and tell them what they think of their police work and to encourage them to go after the POS's who caused the harrassment in the first place.
Police Ignored Family's Pleas for HelpMom Killed Self, Daughter After Years of Abuse by Gang
posted: 13 HOURS 10 MINUTES AG
Sept. 18) - A coroner expressed outrage Friday that police did nothing to protect a woman who killed herself and her teenage daughter after years of being tormented by a gang of local youths.
Fiona Pilkington, 38, set fire to her parked car on Oct. 24, 2007 while she and her severely disabled daughter, Francecca Hardwick, 18, known as Frankie, sat inside with the family's pet rabbit, an inquest jury heard.
The women's charred remains were found by a truck driver. The bodies were so badly burned that authorities had to use DNA samples to identify them.
Fiona Pilkington, right, killed herself and her severely disabled daughter, Francecca Hardwick, after years of abuse by local youths, an inquest was told.
Witnesses, including Pilkington's mother, told the inquest in Leicestershire, England, that the single mother and her two children were repeatedly harassed in an ordeal that lasted more than a decade. The witnesses said a gang of "street kids," some as young as 10, tormented the family for simply "existing," The Times of London said.
The gang members threw flour, eggs and stones at the family's home in Barwell, Leicestershire, smashed windows and shouted obscenities, the inquest heard. They shouted at Frankie to lift up her nightgown. They thrust fireworks through the family's letterbox. They urinated against the home's walls. When Frankie tried to go for a walk with her mother, they followed her, imitating her unusual gait.
Pilkington's son, Anthony, who had severe dyslexia, was locked in a shed at knifepoint and beaten with a metal bar, the inquest was told, according to the Daily Mail.
Anthony, now 19, was with his grandparents on the night his mother and Frankie died in the fire.
Pilkington, who was a full-time caregiver to her children, called police more than 30 times in the seven years before her death, but no action was taken. At one point, police told Pilkington that she was "overreacting," the inquest heard.
On Friday, the second day of the inquest, Assistant Deputy Coroner Olivia Davison demanded to know why "common sense and basic old-fashioned policing" had not prevailed.
"It seems to me that , given the history and the context of the abuse, it would not have been anti-social behavior but a crime because we had people being hounded in their own house," she said.
Pilkington's mother, Pamela Cassell, 72, said that her daughter had been especially dreading the approach of Halloween, when the local youths upped their harassment of the family.
Pilkington left five letters addressed to family members, the Leicester Mercury said. In one, which was read at the inquest, she said: "11 years of misery, no wonder my hair is coming out. What do to? Take another 11 years of criminal damage and years of abuse? What do I have to do to get my street back to a normal one so people can go out at night?"
Tragic family were 'under siege' from gang of louts
Friday, September 18, 2009, 09:30A tragic family tormented for years by a gang of youths felt "under siege" and were afraid to step out of their house, an inquest heard.
Fiona Pilkington drove into a lay-by on the A47, in Earl Shilton, with her disabled teenage daughter Francecca Hardwick, 18, who was known as Frankie, and is thought to have killed both of them by turning her car into a fireball.
An inquest into their deaths began at Loughborough Town Hall yesterday, where a jury heard how Ms Pilkington, 38, had endured "11 years of misery" and felt the authorities were not listening to her.
She also wrote letters to her MP David Tredinnick, asking him to help her, in 2004 and 2007.
The day she died, on October 24, 2007, Ms Pilkington left five letters detailing her intentions to family members.
In one, which was read out at the inquest, she wrote: "11 years of misery, no wonder my hair is coming out.
"What do you do? Take another 11 years of criminal damage and years of abuse?
"What do I have to do to get my street back to a normal one so people can go out at night?"
The letters were handed to police after the pair's deaths.
Giving evidence, Pamela Cassell, Ms Pilkington's mother, said her daughter was dreading the forthcoming Hallowe'en and Bonfire Night celebrations, as in previous years the family had flour bombs and eggs thrown at their house.
Mrs Cassell, 72, of Balmoral Road, Earl Shilton, said that, in 2005, her daughter had made an attempt to kill herself and her two children, Frankie and Anthony.
She said: "Fiona took Anthony and Frankie and the pets with some petrol and candles and went for a drive round, before she changed her mind. She said it was because nobody was doing anything to help her."
Frankie had learning difficulties and her brother Anthony, now 19, has severe dyslexia.
Anthony was staying with his grandparents the night his sister and mother died.
Talking about an incident in February 2007, when the family were being taunted outside their house, coroner Olivia Davison described them as being "under siege".
Former assistant chief constable Chris Tew detailed the number of times Ms Pilkington and her mother had called the police complaining of anti-social behaviour on their street.
Between 2000 and 2006, either Ms Pilkington or Mrs Cassell called the police on 12 occasions.
In 2007, 10 calls were recorded and, in 2004, eight reports were received, seven of which were marked as "incident closed" shortly afterwards.
Mr Tew said this was down to a lack of resources, or the fact Ms Pilkington did not want to press for a prosecution.
Most complaints related to a group of around 10 to 16 youths who lived near the family home in Bardon Road, Barwell.
Medical records show Ms Pilkington visited her doctor for stress and depression-related complaints.
The inquest is expected to end today.
Police criticised for 'poor' response to tormented family
Saturday, September 19, 2009, 09:30A coroner has criticised police for their "poor" response to a tragic and vulnerable family's cries for help.
Olivia Davison said police did not do enough to help single mother Fiona Pilkington and her disabled 18-year-old daughter Frankie Hardwick after they suffered years of abuse from yobs on their street.
The family, including Ms Pilkington's son Anthony, from Bardon Road, Barwell, were sometimes prisoners in their own home because youths were throwing stones at windows.
Ms Pilkington, 38, and Frankie, died on October 24, 2007, in a car parked in a lay-by in Earl Shilton.
The pair died after Ms Pilkington doused a pile of clothes on the back seat with petrol and set them alight – causing the vehicle to explode.
Yesterday, an inquest at Loughborough Town Hall heard how Ms Pilkington had made dozens of calls to police, but few had resulted in an officer going to see her. Many of the calls were simply logged and on one occasion an e-mail was sent to the beat bobby asking him to call.
Ms Davison described officers' response to calls by Fiona Pilkington as "poor" and quizzed former assistant chief constable Chris Tew on why more was not done.
She said: "It's quite difficult, it would seem, if you are a resident living on the road to get a response from the police."
On two consecutive nights in February 2007, the family were afraid to step outside their house because youths were shouting at them outside.
The police took four days to respond and Ms Davison said: "I absolutely appreciate what was happening – the Leicestershire police could have been dealing with thousands of incidents, but it would seem to me that knowing there is a disabled person in the house would suggest they were vulnerable.
"To not respond in four days is quite poor to people being frightened to come out of their house.
"Beat officers are supposed to know their beats. It seems to me if a beat officer is given Bardon Road as his beat he would no doubt know Fiona so he would know that family.
"He would be very interested that over two nights they were so scared they did not come out of their house."
In 2004, eight reports were received from the Pilkingtons, seven of which were marked as "incident closed" shortly afterwards.
The only one dealt with thoroughly seemed to come about after Ms Pilkington wrote a letter to her MP, David Tredinnick, about the problems she faced.
In response to this, Ms Davison said: "Because we have an MP shouting and an area inspector involved then we have a concerted action to do something.
"We have a mass of activity in one complaint but not the others."
She also criticised the police's failure to link incidents together, preventing officers from treating the family's problems more seriously.
"These incidents take on an aspect of menace. It has a greater relevance if you know the history," she said.
"If these had been linked and not closed a different picture would have presented itself in terms of a family with problems of offenders."
Mr Tew, who retired in July, admitted things could have been done better.
He said: "Things have moved on quite considerably – there would be a totally different response today than there was then (in 2004 and 2007)."
"I would expect now that this would all be picked up as a series of ongoing incidents."
From January to October in the year the pair died, police received reports of 31 anti-social behaviour incidents in Bardon Road and Bradgate Road in Barwell. Out of that total, 13 reports were from Ms Pilkington.
Between April and October 2007, police received 40,000 calls about anti-social behaviour.
Ms Pilkington's mother, Pamela Cassell, 72, has attended the inquest throughout.
She said: "Fiona couldn't defend herself. She was very shy and she didn't want any trouble so she tended to ignore the youths. She was very vulnerable.
"On the day that they died, Fiona rang up the police and told them about the children who were walking on their hedge and she was told to just ignore them.
"The same girls that were walking on the hedge were taking the mickey out of Frankie and imitating the way she walked. It was going on for so long I thought somebody would have done something. Fiona just gave up."
An inquest into the deaths began on Thursday in front of an eight-member jury and is expected to conclude on Tuesday.
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