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A father-of-ten says his family are being put through hell after his neighbour installed an ‘anti-child’ alarm on her house.
Single dad Thomas Weldon, 52, says his kids are prisoners in their own home since retired magistrate Lesley Cooper put up the controversial ‘mosquito’ device.
Ms Cooper, 74, installed one of the alarms on the outside of her 400K property which emits a high-pitched noise that only people aged under 25 can hear.
She says she has been forced to do so because of the behaviour of Thomas’ large brood, who she has branded a ‘’nuisance”.
But Mr Weldon says the alarm causes his youngsters to scream in pain and has led to a bitter neighbourhood dispute between the pair.
He has described his rented home in Babbacombe, Devon, as like living in a prison because his children are prevented from going outside when the alarm is turned on.
He claims it is activated three or four times a week and he believes it is pointed directly at his six younger children.
Mr Weldon said: ‘I had to take my seven-year-old daughter to hospital because she was screaming in pain because the alarm makes such a high pitched noise.
‘We’re not allowed to step outside our front door because as soon as we do she puts it on.
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‘It’s an absolute nightmare. It’s driving us absolutely mad. My children can’t come out of the house and play – it’s like living in a prison.’
Ms Cooper, who spent many years serving as a magistrate, confirmed she has had the alarm there for three years.
But she says she has only turned it on four times when children have been hurling objects at her property.
It is a legal device with a high-frequency tone that is inaudible to people over about 25 years of age, but causes discomfort and irritation to youngsters.
Mr Weldon, who has six children still living with him, added: ‘I have reported it to the council and I have been told the alarm is illegal and against children’s human rights. When the sun is shining she puts it on regularly.
‘I’ve asked her to take it down but she won’t talk to me. It’s the most anti-social thing I have ever known in my life.
‘We’re just a normal family trying to get on with our lives. It’s like she is trying to drive us away.’
Ms Cooper confirmed that she has an alarm on her house but said she had only used it four times in three years, for five minutes each time, when children had been throwing objects at her house.
She said: ‘The alarm has been passed by Torbay Council and the police.
‘’It has been authorised because of the persistent nuisance which disturbs my residence by the family at the rear of my property in Princes Street.
‘They have continually vandalised, harassed and made a complete nuisance of themselves. The authorities are still dealing with it.’
Torbay Council said: ‘We currently have no open case regarding this issue. We would ask that the complainant come forward so that we can conduct any necessary investigation.’