A courageous couple who endured threats and intimidation during a long battle to get their neighbours from hell evicted have been honoured.

Jonathan and Maria Swaine had to put up with late night parties, fights and alleged drug dealing at a neighbouring property after moving into their home in Isleworth in 2007.

They teamed up with other residents, the police and landlord Hounslow Homes to gather evidence and finally get the family thrown out of the five-bedroom property earlier this month .

During that time, they twice had all the windows of their cars smashed in, and the tyres slashed, in a bid to intimidate them. Their neighbours even took videos of their two young children in a bid to stop the couple testifying in court.

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But the Swaines would not be deterred and bravely agreed to be the only named witnesses when the case came to court, allowing others on the street to retain their anonymity.

After a nervy trial, they eventually won their case at the end of January this year and the offending family were forced to leave by February 5.

Jonathan and Maria Swaines, who were named 'outstanding heroes' at the Hounslow Community Safety Heroes Awards for standing up to their neighbours from hell. They were joined on stage by Hounslow Council leader Jagdish Sharma and Hounslow borough fire commander Stuart Low
Jonathan and Maria Swaines, who were named 'outstanding heroes' at the Hounslow Community Safety Heroes Awards for standing up to their neighbours from hell. They were joined on stage by Hounslow Council leader Jagdish Sharma and Hounslow borough fire commander Stuart Low
 

They were named as 'outstanding heroes' at the annual Hounslow Community Safety Heroes awards ceremony, held at Hounslow Civic Centre, last night (Wednesday, February 12), which was organised by the Hounslow Community Safety Partnership.

Despite the threats and intimidation, Mr Swaine said he was never swayed in his determination to get the family evicted and hoped their success would give others suffering similar disturbances the belief to take action.

"Almost from the day we moved in we had to put up with late-night parties and other problems, including fights," said the 43-year-old managing director of Fuller's inns, whose wife is an ex-teacher.

"When we tried to do something our neighbours intimidated my wife and once tried to get into our house. We had all the windows smashed in on both my car and my wife's, and the tyres were slashed. It makes you think, but only for a little while.

"I'm quite a calm person but when the judge was summing up my heart was going 10 to the dozen. It was such a relief when he announced the verdict.

"What we've been through on this street has actually brought us closer together as neighbours. In the past I think people tended to hide behind their curtains but now we know each other and will meet up from time to time, which is one good thing to have come out of this."

Presenting the award, Superintendent Sally Benatar, of Hounslow Police, said: "They have put themselves in the firing line in order to help rid the community of serious criminality and have not wavered in their support to take action."