Police sued by bullied woman family
Published 07/10/2010 | 12:42
The family of a woman who killed herself and her disabled daughter after years of abuse from a teenage gang is suing the police and local authorities.
Fiona Pilkington, 38, torched her Austin Maestro car at a lay-by near her home in Barwell, Leicestershire, while she and 18-year-old Francecca Hardwick sat inside.
Their deaths, in October 2007, followed 10 years of torment at the hands of yobs who taunted them and pelted their property with stones, eggs and flour.
In the subsequent inquest, Leicestershire Police were slammed for failing to properly respond to dozens of pleas from the family to intervene.
Jurors also held Leicestershire County Council and Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council to account for giving inadequate help to the family and not sharing information.
All three authorities have now been named as defendants in a writ lodged at the High Court in London on behalf of Ms Pilkington's mother, Pam Cassell, and son, Anthony Hardwick.
Mr Hardwick, who is severely dyslexic, was also tormented by gang members - some of whom were as young as 10. At one point he was marched to a shed at knifepoint and locked in by his tormentors.
More than 30 calls to the police were made about the family's suffering but the case was treated as a low priority.
A spokeswoman for Leicestershire Police has said that they were "aware of a writ being issued" but said any further comment would be "inappropriate".
Likewise Leicestershire County Council and Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council said they were aware of legal proceedings.