Landlady tormented by youth gang urges police action

Vandalism at The Dolphin pub, 34 High Street, Littlehampton. Pic Steve Robards SR1810510 SUS-180419-172908001
Vandalism at The Dolphin pub, 34 High Street, Littlehampton. Pic Steve Robards SR1810510 SUS-180419-172908001

A pub landlady terrorised by a gang in Littlehampton town centre has had enough.

Ellie Boiling has been the landlady of The Dolphin pub in High Street, Littlehampton for 17 years.

Vandalism at The Dolphin pub, 34 High Street, Littlehampton. Pic Steve Robards SR1810534 SUS-180419-172930001

Vandalism at The Dolphin pub, 34 High Street, Littlehampton. Pic Steve Robards SR1810534 SUS-180419-172930001

But in recent months, a gang has targeted her pub, smashing windows, climbing on the roof – and posting what she thought to be human faeces through her letterbox. The 51-year-old said: “I went to get the mail and it was on the floor in a bag. I have four dogs, so I know it wasn’t a dog’s.”

Last week, she claimed youths were causing a ‘hell of a row’ at 3am outside her pub, so she politely asked them to move on because they were upsetting her young niece.

Five minutes later, they came running past again and smashed a window.

Describing herself as a ‘strong woman and landlady’, Ellie was left ‘despondent’ by a lack of police response, despite calling 101 and 999 – and recalled being reduced to reporting a crime online while the teens were on her roof.

At the Littlehampton Town Council’s annual meeting on Thursday, she pleaded with Kris Ottery, Arun district commander for Sussex Police, to sort out the issue. He said he would send officers to the pub to draw up a plan of action – but she has not heard back so far.

This comes after a wave of youth crime in Littlehampton which led chief inspector Ottery to put more officers in the town centre. Click here to read what Sussex Police says it is doing to tackle youth crime.

Ellie said: “Stabbings, arson: this is not small fry, little boys sat on street corners causing trouble. This is dangerous.”

Because she defended victims of the gang she felt she was being targeted, and feared there could be vigilante justice. She payed £2,000 a month for security, despite needing £5,000 to break even, and said for the first time she was closing at 7pm because ‘people were too scared to come into the town centre’.

Arun district councillor Colin Cates from River Ward, who has been lobbying Sussex Police on the issue, said: “It is sensitive, but if we cannot prosecute these children, perhaps their parents should be held responsible.

“We cannot continue with DIY policing.”