Couple scared to sleep as burning dog poo-smeared leaflet left in letterbox

A couple in Middlesbrough have been left "too scared to sleep" after their home was targeted in a spate of arson attacks.

Charlotte McKenna, 36, and her autistic partner John Williams, 31, have been the victims of at least six attacks in the last two weeks alone.

The mum-of-six said the "final straw" was when she discovered a burning leaflet filled with dog excrement had been posted through their letterbox, reports TeessideLive.

Charlotte said she hasn't slept for weeks, and neither has John, who suffers with mental health problems and learning difficulties.

She said: "It's got to the point where I'm having to hold him until he goes to sleep and we now keep our bedroom door locked at night.

"This morning I was making a cuppa in the kitchen and I went upstairs for two minutes and my back door was set on fire.

"Someone had put a towel along the bottom of it and lit it.

"That's after the same towel had already been set on fire on the washing line the night before."

Charlotte told the newspaper that the first incident took place on 25 June, when a chair in their back garden was set on fire.

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Since then, the couple's letterbox, back door, wheelie bin and other garden furniture have also been targeted.

The mum has reported each of the incidents to Cleveland Police, but claims "nothing is being done about it."

She continued: "Having the dog mess posted through the door this morning was the final straw for me.

"It's getting to the point now where I'm thinking what is it going to take for police to actually do something about it?

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"It is going to take for me and my partner to be seriously hurt or either one of us or both of us to be killed in a fire?

"All I get when I ring police is 'we are doing our best'.

"We are at the end of our tether now and we are terrified at the thought of how it's going to end."

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A spokesperson for Cleveland Police said: "Police have recently received reports of criminal damage and minor arson incidents at this address.

"These involved small fires being set outside her property on August 1, on the evening of Thursday, August 5 and on the morning of Friday, August 6.

"Also August 6, just before midday we received a report that a leaflet which was on fire had been posted through an anti-arson letterbox which had been left open at the address.

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"Fortunately, the householder extinguished the fire and no damage was caused."

Police also attended the address on Friday and officers are continuing to liaise with the victim and offer safeguarding advice, added the spokesperson.

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