Chaos as woman empties house from her window

Police in riot gear stormed the house of a mentally ill woman in Crouch End after a deluge of household items rained onto the street below

Miguel Cullen

Police in riot gear stormed the house of a mentally ill woman in Crouch End after a deluge of household items rained onto the street below.

A Christmas tree, stereo and several bottles were among the missiles that stopped traffic on Crouch End Hill around 4.30pm on Tuesday.

Police cordoned off an area on the corner of Crouch End Hill and Crouch Hill before using a battering ram to break into her home. The woman was taken to St Ann's psychiatric hospital in Tottenham.

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Neighbour Colin Hanscombe heard police shout, "Stand back, we're coming in," before breaking down the door. The woman was well known to police who had been summoned a number of times in previous weeks.

"She threw a telly out of the window last week" said Mr Handscombe. "If anybody had been hit with the iron [another item thrown out] they could have been killed."

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Police cordoned off traffic to avoid cars being hit by the missiles, which also included an umbrella, light bulbs, and a clock. Stunned residents looked on as the bombardment continued for half an hour.

"It seemed that half of Crouch End was watching" said Jenni Gordon, a waitress at nearby restaurant Pick More Daisies. "We were standing outside and kept seeing things come out of the window. At one point I saw a radio come out."

Mr Hanscombe, who lives in the flat below, added: "As they went up I said to one copper, 'You're a brave man', because she's a big woman."

The woman, said to be in her 40s, had been causing problems since her arrival at the flats above Oxygene, a beauty parlour. She moved in as part of a temporary social housing scheme six months ago.

"It's been hell, literally hell" said Mr Hanscombe, 49, who lives in the flat with his wife and two-year old daughter. "She's threatened to set the building alight, she's smashed in car windows. We had the fire brigade here on Saturday night because she'd told them that there was a fire in the building. It's well-known that people look up before they come into the building, just in case.

"There's been trouble three times a week. It's the talk of the borough. I've got a kid of two and upstairs they've got two children. I can't stand it.

"Putting this woman above a pedestrian walkway was a mistake."

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