Neighbour from hell forces woman out of home with fire – but is allowed to stay

A nightmare neighbour from hell has been allowed to stay in her home despite endangering other residents.

Nora Ward, 62, set fire to the communal area of her apartment building in Wythenshawe, with the door being the only exit from the block, after falling out with neighbours.

Residents said that they feared they "could have been killed" when Ward was captured on CCTV 'carrying something ignited' and laying it down at the communal entrance to the block, on May 23 this year.

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It is not the first time the hellish neighbour had threatened the lives of those around her – Manchester Crown Court previously heard two fires had to be put out in the lead up to this incident.

Despite neighbours speaking of their fear that they could have been killed, and concerns Ward could strike again, a 15-month sentence for arson with intent to endanger life, was suspended for two years.

She has since been allowed to return to her property on Leybrook Road – much to the distress of fellow resident, Nicola Wilde, who has been forced to leave her flat and stay with her partner some 40 miles away.

Nicola, 44, has been the victim of Ward's nuisance behaviour for years, claims she had already pleaded with the local housing group to move her elsewhere.

Ms Wilde claims she's been telling Wythenshawe Community Housing Group that she is "scared" to live at the property for years, and has made multiple requests to be moved.

Speaking to the MEN she said: "She has set fire to the front door and now she's allowed to come back and live there.

"I was told she was looking at five years but she was released and my front door is still not even fixed. I feel trapped in my own property and scared to live there.

"My mental health has been going through the roof. I've spent every day speaking to housing and it's exhausting. I am having to live at my partner's house 40 miles away."

Manchester Crown Court heard previously that issues between Ward and Ms Wilde had come before the county court before, with Ward engaging in anti-social behaviour "in and around" the victim's address.

In April and May there had been fires started in the communal hallway and doorsteps. Following the blaze on May 23, which caused £1,500 of damage, Ward told police she couldn't remember what had happened as she'd been drinking.

A victim impact statement from one neighbour, read in court, said: "The fires that have been set are getting closer to my property, I’m worried mine will be set on fire endangering me and my family.

"This could end up with somebody being killed by her actions. It’s got to stop before going too far.”

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A spokesperson for Wythenshawe Community Housing Group said: "We are aware of the ongoing dispute between Ms Wilde and her neighbour Ms Ward.

"Following Ms Ward’s release from prison we are liaising with the police and probation services to ensure the appropriate safety measures are put in place.

"This will include replacing the damaged communal door which has unfortunately been delayed due to supply chain issues. In addition, Ms Wilde has been receiving assistance from our Living Well Team and we are supporting her request to be rehoused in another area.

"We are committed to ensuring our customers feel safe within their homes and take these matters seriously."

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