A Blackpool mum says she is glad her neighbour, who terrorised her for five years – including burning an effigy of her in the garden– is dead but she now suffers from a mental health illness herself.
Caroline Bawdon, 42, from Layton, was tormented by her parents’ neighbour Stanislaw Johnson, inset, after she moved into their home to care for them in 2009.
The initially friendly pensioner turned on her for no apparent reason and it escalated to the point that he burned a 6ft effigy of Caroline – complete with a blonde wig – in his back garden, while shouting ‘burn in hell’.
He breached a restraining order four times, even threatening to rape her daughter.
A day before she was due to provide evidence at his trial, Caroline, who was seven-weeks-pregnant
miscarried her baby.
Caroline said the years of torment saw her lose her job and she only feels able to speak out after he died while being detained in a psychiatric unit in Blackburn in
April last year.
Caroline, a former health centre receptionist, now has severe anxiety disorder following the years of abuse from Johnson.
She said: “I’m a shadow of my former self. I used to have a job, a car, I was healthy and happy.
“Hopefully one day I’ll get back behind the wheel but now I’m just too anxious. He’s completely ruined my life.
She added: “He clearly didn’t get the right help and to this day I don’t know what he was admitted with but I know he died of cancer.
“I’m glad he is dead, 100 per cent, but with mental health on the rise something needs to be done about it.”