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Yesterday on Monday the 13th there was a full page spread in The Daily Mirror on page 13 written by the journalist Martin Bagot about on line harassment. And yours truly was featured in it. It still feels strange when you see yourself in a newspaper or magazine. There is a picture of me sitting at our dinning room table next to a lap-top.
I was featured because of an incident that myself and the wife experienced with a so called neighbour who thought she owned the road and it was for her personal use only. When a new family moved in across the road from us with four adults living in the same house, plus four cars, with only a drive way that could accommodate one, problems began. She blamed us for the fact that she now had to drive slowly down a residential 20 mph road to navigate her way through. She could no longer drive at speeds that caused her twice to damage her car and demolish another neighbours fence. One day while driving pass she stopped and verbally abused my wife while she was cleaning the family car on our own drive way. When I went out to investigate she then turned her abuse onto me.
It didn't stop there because a couple of weeks later a friend phoned to say that our address had appeared on Facebook after being posted by this women. The kindest thing she said in a torrent of online abuse was she wished our home would burn down. When we checked it out we were horrified to see total strangers to us joining in.
Now I have led a rough and tough life. I was once a court bailiff a very dangerous job that during the execution of my duty led to three different attempts on life. One man with a baseball bat, another through strangulation and the third with a knife. And this isn't the only time I have faced death and lived to tell the tale. I have been through a terrible car crash, in my youth I have been knocked out in a night club with my head being kicked about like a football while I lay unconscious on the floor, and hurtled uncontrollably down a mountain slope after being knocked off my skies while on holiday. When I was just a small boy I experienced the frill of flying in a plane when the engines failed in mid-flight, and then having to make an emergency landing at some small airport somewhere in Africa. From being crushed on the football terraces to standing up to bullies I have tasted fear, and believe me it can be frightening.
But as the saying goes "stick and stones may brake my bones but words will never hurt" I wish this was only true because when you have a wife, and young children, you become very vulnerable. You have to think about their safety and the fact that you can't be there 24 hours a day, seven days a week to protect them. We decided to move. Sometimes you can stand and fight, and sometimes you can run! Well we did neither. We just moved on to a bigger and better house and left behind that small minded women who one day will be laying stiff in a box while her soul goes to hell, and all because she couldn't drive like a lady.