A FAMILY behind a torrent of abusive behaviour has been evicted from their home in the first case of its kind in Oxford.

The rented terraced house at 18 Kersington Crescent, Cowley, was shut by police and council officials after neighbours said the family had made their lives “hell”.

Oxford City Council won the closure order at Oxford Magistrates’ Court.

Neighbours said they had endured more than two years of stress and sleepless nights from noise at the home of the Reed family, originally from the Middlesbrough area.

Police promptly visited the house to evict members of the family, smashing in the door when they received no response. It is now boarded up.

It is the first time the council has used powers that came into effect in 2008 to close a private home.

Naeem Chudry, case manager for the city council’s crime and nuisance action team, said problems began when Larraine Reed, 59, arrived at the cul-de-sac in May 2009 with son Kevin Kitching and “various grandchildren”.

There was shouting, swearing, slamming of doors, fighting and music, he said, and a “large volume” of people sometimes lived there”. A neighbour was racially abused and assaulted, he said.

Reed told the council last June that complaints were “because the people in Oxford are ‘snobby’ or because they don’t like northerners”, Mr Chudry said. There was an “exponential increase” in problems when daughter Rachel Reed arrived in December.

She would often return on drink or drugs at 3am and was seen performing sex acts in a car, he said.

Larraine Reed left in early June, leaving her son and daughter.

Neighbours’ reports of what they heard Rachel Reed say suggested she was sex working, he added.

Larraine Reed told the court she would not contest the order and said: “I’m sorry for wasting the court’s time. I have had a bad time in that house since the day I moved there. I begged social services to help me move.”

Victoria Fennell, for the council, said landlord David Hill supported the closure order and he had not known what was going on.

District judge Tim Pattinson said he was in “no doubt whatsoever” of the “persistent” problems and there was “some evidence of prostitution”.

Next door neighbour Marina Moore, a 45-year-old mum of two teenagers, said: “I am glad it is all over, I am ecstatic. We can finally get some sleep. It has been hell.”

Clerical worker Michele Gillen, who lived on the other side of the family, said: “I have been really stressed, I have been signed off work for two weeks.”

The council said it and the police had received more than 150 calls about the property and would use the powers again if needed.

Chief Inspector Cecilia Agger, Oxford’s deputy local policing area commander, thanked the neighbours for “taking a stand”.

Anyone entering the property without police or council permission will commit a criminal offence and face up to 26 weeks in prison and a maximum fine of £5,000.