Tattooed couple told to 'get out' in threatening letters from neighbours over body art and beliefs

Ellen Manning
·3-min read
Paul and Annie Riggs, 49 and 52, say they are being targeted by 'neighbours from hell' due to their appearance. (Caters)
Paul and Annie Riggs, 49 and 52, say they are being targeted by 'neighbours from hell' due to their appearance. (Caters)

A couple claim they are being hounded by their "neighbours from hell" because of their tattoos, piercings and beliefs. 

Annie and Paul Riggs, who own a tattoo parlour, say because they have tattoos and because Annie practises witchcraft and does psychic readings, their life has been made a "living hell" by neighbours trying to force them to move. 

The couple, who are 52 and 49, said they have woken to find "get out" daubed on the wall of their home in Chatham, Kent, along with a letter saying they should move out.

The couple claim they woke up to find 'get out' graffitied on their wall in Chatham, Kent. (Caters)
The couple claim they woke up to find 'get out' graffitied on their wall in Chatham, Kent. (Caters)
They have also received a letter saying they should move out from the cul de sac where Annie has lived since 2004. (Caters)
They have also received a letter saying they should move out from the cul de sac where Annie has lived since 2004. (Caters)

Annie said despite the torment, they plan on staying at the home she has lived in since 2004. 

She said: "Some sort of hate campaign has been launched and they are determined to make us leave.

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"We haven’t done anything wrong so we aren’t going to be bullied out of the cul de sac because of our appearance.

"They have blocked our cars in and let our tyres down. They often play loud music so we can’t hear ourselves think."

Paul Riggs, 49, has tattoos on 95% of his body. (Caters)
Paul Riggs, 49, has tattoos on 95% of his body. (Caters)
Annie Riggs practises witchcraft and says they're being hounded because of their beliefs. (Caters)
Annie Riggs practises witchcraft and says they're being hounded because of their beliefs. (Caters)

There have been several cases of people claiming they have been dismissed or forced out of jobs because of their tattoos, citing discrimination.

But while the Equalities Act protects people from discrimination, tattoos are not included within the protected characteristics set out in the law, such as gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, marriage, religion and gender reassignment.

That means someone who has been dismissed due to tattoos cannot technically claim discrimination – though that could be different if they could show their tattoos were related to their religious beliefs and are required by that religion to have those tattoos.

Paul, who has tattoos covering 95% of his body, added: "We don’t experience hatred or discrimination anywhere else – just on our street.

"We meet people of all ages and backgrounds at work and they accept us for who we are. But on our street, it is something else.

"Everyone believes we worship the devil, but we don’t. Annie practises witchcraft and does psychic readings. But that’s none of their business. We want an easy life and to be left alone."

The couple say their car has been deliberately blocked in in the past. (Caters)
The couple say their car has been deliberately blocked in in the past. (Caters)

The couple has contacted Kent Police who have issued warnings.

A spokesperson said: "Kent Police is investigating a report that criminal damage was caused to a property in Dagmar Road, Chatham, at around 3.10pm on Tuesday 20 April.

"A threatening letter is also reported to have been sent to the same address."

Enquiries remain ongoing, the force said.

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