A 61-year-old ‘ASBO’ gardener says she’s facing eviction after neighbours complained about her 15 times – for ‘crimes’ including moving bins and supporting BREXIT.
Softly-spoken Anne Maple, who runs a card-making business, says she’s a kindhearted community stalwart and everyone on her street loves her.
But over the past seven years, she’s been sent eight antisocial behaviour notices by the council telling her off for 15 ‘crimes’ – from feeding foxes to spreading gossip.
Three have ordered her to stop interfering with dustbins – including banning her from stacking a neighbour’s recycling box inside her black bins.
The mum-of-one has even been told off for displaying ‘inflammatory’ notices in her window which were actually pro-Brexit and Tory election posters.
Anne denies all the allegations, made to Lewisham Council and Lewisham Homes, and none of the warning notices have resulted in a criminal conviction.
But she also has no idea who’d making the complaints as no one has owned up to it and they keep on pouring in, with the most recent being last month.
Keen gardener Anne says she’s had so many notices she could be kicked out and reckons it’s down to a “miserable” person with a vendetta against her.
Anne, who lives in a terraced Victorian conversion flat in Lewisham, said: “I’m 61 years old and I have just received my eighth ASBO letter.
“Each time it’s for the opposite of what I’m doing.
“I think somebody’s got a grudge against me but I’ve not had any arguments with my neighbours.
“I worry that all these reports are going to add up together and at some point cost me my tenancy because they aren’t being properly dealt with.”
She added: “I haven’t heard of anyone else who has got as many as me.”
Anne received her first antisocial behaviour letter in June 2009, which accused her of:
– Behaving in a “threatening and intimidating way” towards contractors
– Creating “noise nuisance” by slamming doors and having loud arguments
– Posted “offensive notes” regarding her neighbour on her front door
– “Caused nuisance to a neighbour” by her “placement of her recycling bin inside her main household bin”
– Running a cattery business which causes “nuisance by way of noise and smell”
Later that year, she got another notice telling her off for moving bins from the back garden of her building – which contains two flats – to the front.
The third letter, in 2012, accused her of keeping 50 cats when in fact she’d set up a charity box at the local shop to say she was feeding hungry cats.
The fourth, in October 2013, says she was “constantly bothering” her neighbours with notes “informing them that the hallway was yours”.
The fifth, sent in August 2014, told her off for feeding foxes after a complaint was received that “foxes are being fed and so are being attracted to your area”.
The sixth, in September 2014, said she had contacted professionals “making allegations about her neighbour’s ‘unfit’ ability to be a mother”.
She also says she was accused of looking into her next door neighbour’s home – but says she it’s impossible because she has “thick curtains” which are always drawn.
Letter number seven, sent in April last year, accused Anne of having a ‘racist’ poster in her window.
It said: “It has been brought to our attention that you have displayed a sign in your window regarding immigrants or perceived immigrants in the UK.”
It concluded: “We advise you to remove this sign immediately and if you are found to have continued this behaviour Lewisham Homes may take action.”
Anne claims she was disaplying a Tory campaign poster supporting local politician Bim Afolami and another which said “vote for a referendum… get out of the EU”.
The most recent notice, sent on November 11 this year, warned her not to touch other people’s bins because it was causing neighbours “distress”.
Anne said: “It’s outrageous. I’ve had three letters just for moving bins.
“The first was because I moved the bin from the back to the front of my current garden – roughly 6ft – so there would be easier access.
“I was told to move the bins back but there were plants there. They were perfectly alright but they said I had moved the position of the bins and that I was to stop this.
“Another said I had put the recycling bin of my neighbour into her ordinary bin, but they’re two huge bins – you couldn’t do it.”
“There are so many things going on around here, like fly-tipping and other things.
“The council haven’t got enough money to look after the elderly and yet they’re spending money on this.
“I’m not saying that they shouldn’t send ASBO letters but this is such a waste of money.”
One of Anne’s neighbours, a 75-year-old woman who has lived in the area for almost 40 years, said: “Anne used to look after my cat and is a very nice person.
“If I put my dustbin out, if for some reason I forget, I can be sure that Anne would have done it.
“She’s a good neighbour. I can’t really understand why anyone would want to complain about her. It is bizarre.”
She added that the mystery complainer also reported her to the council – for not using her disabled space often enough.
The woman added: “We’re quite a close knit area. It’s really unfair – she doesn’t deserve it.”
Lewisham Homes, who manage Anne’s property on behalf of Lewisham Council, confirmed that they have sent multiple letters to Anne.
A spokeswoman said: “We have received reports of antisocial behaviour.
“This is part of an ongoing investigation which includes a number of agencies including the local authority and the police.”