‘Meet me if you have the guts’: Yapton pensioner’s challenge to teenage petrol bombers

Ronnie Graham estimates the cost of the damage is several thousand pounds
Ronnie Graham estimates the cost of the damage is several thousand pounds

A PENSIONER whose Yapton property was petrol-bombed has invited those responsible to come and face her – if they have the ‘guts’.

Ronnie Graham was away on holiday when what is believed to be a gang of teenagers threw a lit jar of petrol over her garden boundary hedges.

It landed on a shed close to her house and completely decimated it, along with part of her hedges.

The petrol bomb is thought to have caused several hundreds of pounds of damage to her Downview Close home.

But with Ronnie’s son inside when it happened, she said it could have been far worse.

“It’s left a horrible mess which I’m still waiting for my insurance to sort out,” said Ronnie, who was away in June when it happened. “The shed is gone along with about a third of the eight-foot hedge.

“I think only a wall and firefighters getting here quickly stopped it from spreading.

“There are a lot of trees in my garden which could have gone up and if it had spread the whole house could have gone up quite easily.

“My son was inside watching television at the time and he was alerted by the fire brigade.”

Ronnie estimated her shed was worth around £700 while the hedges several thousands to replace.

Now she has challenged those responsible to come and meet her face-to-face, if they are brave enough.

She accepts the chances of that happening are remote, but she has promised not to press charges if they do come and visit her.

Ronnie said: “From the police report it seems like it was three young males and one dark-haired girl involved.

“They ran away and were heard by another neighbour saying ‘we’d better ring the fire brigade’.

“But obviously they never did because another neighbour opposite me saw the flames in the reflection of his television and phoned the fire service.

“One of the males was seen climbing a lamp post next to mine so it seems he threw it (the petrol bomb) from there.”

She added: “I don’t imagine the police will find them. But I thought I’d put a piece in the paper saying ‘have you got the guts to come and speak to me?’.

“I won’t press charges, I just want to speak to them. They know where I am if they want to chat.”