In the Media

Teenager who won ?500,000 on scratchcard handed ASBO for wild parties

PUBLISHED November 20, 2012

When residents of a quiet cul-de-sac heard their new neighbour had won £500,000 on a scratch card, they may have wondered who to expect on their doorstep.

But instead of a grateful retired couple or excited young family, they found themselves terrorised by a newly-wealthy teenager, who introduced wild parties, loud music and drug-taking friends to the neighbourhood.

Josh Sargeant, who won half a million pounds on a McDonald's scratch card aged 17, has now been handed an ASBO after a court heard a string of "hangers-on" had brought chaos to the street.

One neighbour described a "living nightmare" of traffic, swearing and bad behaviour which left her feeling like she had a home "in a Tesco carpark"

Another said she had resorted to staying at a friend's house in order to "guarantee getting some sleep".

Sargeant, now 19, has now been banned from playing loud music and holding excessively noisy parties after a hearing at Lincoln Magistrates Court.

The court heard the teenager had won £500,000 on the McDonald's Monopoly Game in April 2011, moving swiftly out of his parents' home and investing in two properties.

One £180,000 house was immediately let out, while Sargeant moved into a four-bedroom home in the market town of Sleaford, Lincolnshire.

Installing a hot tub and security system, his house became the focus for his young friends, attracting visitors throughout the day and night.

The court heard residents soon made complaints of loud music, late night parties, cars revving their engines at "all hours", doors slamming, bad language and drug taking.

On one occasion a teenager was driven around the cul-de-sac while sitting on the bonnet of a car.

Sargeant, who was living off the proceeds of renting out his other property, was given warnings but was eventually was taken to court by his local council.

Neighbours told Lincoln Magistrates' Court the impromptu parties had been "extremely disturbing", causing havoc in a once-peaceful area.

"It's a living nightmare for all the people who have struggled to buy a house in what was a nice cul de sac," said neighbour Anne Hutchinson.

"It is the noise and the traffic and the slamming of car doors. It is the swearing and the behaviour of everybody that goes to that house. Cars are going in and out of the property seven or eight times a night. It's like living in a Tesco car park."

Nicola Norman, who lives immediately next door to Sargeant, said the teenager had shown no regard for "anybody else but himself and his peer group."

"I've had many, many sleepless nights since he has been at that house," she said. "On many occasions I've had to report matters to the police and the council.

"At one point I had five nights in a row when I didn't get any sleep. It got to the point where I had to go and stay with friends so that I could guarantee getting some sleep.

"It has caused major distress to our whole family."

A third neighbour Sarah Brown, who works as a financial adviser, added "It's extremely disturbing. It's the noise disruption, the driving and the shouting. There have been incidents of fighting in the driveway."

James Carter, for North Kesteven District Council, added: "The neighbours have suffered. The gravity of the behaviour endured by the residents is severe."

Sargeant , now 19, opposed the anti-social behaviour order saying he has changed his ways and has now evicted a tenant who was contributing to the problems.

He told the court "Everyone knew I'd won the money. It put a lot of pressure on me. I had a lot hangers on which affected my behaviour.

"I can't deny the fact that when I first moved in my behaviour was not satisfactory. I do regret that. I can't say sorry enough.

"I now live alone and feel things have changed for the better. I don't now have any parties whatsoever and there's no loud music. I've got rid of the people I needed to get rid of. I feel like I've changed my life."

He said he has sold off the hot tub which was a source of much of the noise and plans to live a quieter life.

District Judge John Stobart ordered Sargeant to pay £2,000 court costs, as the court heard he had since blown most of the remainder of his winnings.