Poison pen letters - four years of abuse towards Burntisland residents

Raymond Ogg, Veronica Rough and Jean Paxton are among the residents who have received letters and cards from unknown sender. Pic: FPA
Raymond Ogg, Veronica Rough and Jean Paxton are among the residents who have received letters and cards from unknown sender. Pic: FPA

A Burntisland grandmother has hit out at a “coward” poison pen writer who has targeted vulnerable residents for over four years.

And she says that not enough is being done to unmask the culprit who has sent letters and postcards to elderly and bereaved people in the community.

Some are hand-written, opthers are stencilled - and they all contain vile abuse.

Jean Paxton (53) of Bendameer Road, first began receiving the poison pen letters in 2011 - and she has had at least two a year since then, containing personally abusive messages.

“I just ignored the first few, but when they kept arriving I contacted the police. Now each one I get I just hand directly on to them.

“The police at one stage did a door-to-door and found out there were more at the bottom of the street, and people around here were also getting them. There must be at least a dozen who have received letters and cards, some handwritten, some stencilled.

“It seems to be someone in the neighbourhood who is doing this, because they know what is going on in people’s lives; they were sent to one lady whose daughter recently had a baby,and another whose partner died.

“It makes me angry that this person is targeting vulnerable people and it is still going on after all this time.”

Mrs Paxton, who looks after her grandson on a regular basis, said others had been receiving mail on and off for around six years.

“The man down the road has received 19 cards and letters over the past few months alone,” she said.

“It just makes me angry that this person has not been caught.”

Councillor Susan Leslie said she had been in regular contact with the police about the issue, and would continue to monitor the case.

“The police have sent off letters with stamps to try to get forensic evidence, but that has been unsuccessful so far,” she explained.

“The last I heard another batch had been sent, but I was told that because the forensic labs have to prioritise their work, it could take up to six months for anything to come back.

“I have done what I can to encourage people to come forward to the police if they receive any such mail, but until they get any forensic evidence as proof, there is a bit of a stalemate.”

Inspector Alan Seath of Police Scotland, Kirkcaldy, said: “We have done a number of enquiries into theis matter and will continue to do so. Letters have been sent for forensic testing for things like saliva and fingerprints, but this could be someone who is not on the computer system which makes it very difficult to get any proof.

“These seem to be sporadic incidents, and the first were reported to the police in 2010. Since then there have only been eight cases reported to us.

“A lot of it is what could be just described as junk mail, but we will continue to do what we can to get to the bottom of this, and we would encourage anyone who is receiving letters or postcards of this nature to get in touch with us directly to let us know.”